1451 Peters Mountain Road, Dauphin, PA 17018  Phone: 717-921-8100

Program Coordinator: Eric A. Naguski email: enaguski@dauphinc.org

Aedes albopictus (Skuse)

The Asian Tiger Mosquito

Description: albopictus on pant legwith frame

                                                                                                                         Photo: Eric A. Naguski

A short history of the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) in Dauphin County, PA.

       Since 2000 there has been mosquito surveillance in the state of Pennsylvania.

•       Since then we have seen a large increase in the numbers and locations of the Asian Tiger Mosquito within Pennsylvania and here in Dauphin County.

•       The Asian Tiger Mosquito (ATM) has become widespread throughout Southern Dauphin County and has also shown up in a few locations in the northern portion of the County. (See Figure 1 for the 2011 ATM collections in Dauphin County mosquito surveillance.)

Figure1. Locations within Dauphin County where the Asian Tiger Mosquito was collected in 2011

Description: 2011 ATM Surveillance map


Figure 2. Aedes albopictus Surveillance in Dauphin County 2005-2011

·     Figure 2 shows the number of ATM collected in Dauphin County from 2005 to 2011 as part of our mosquito surveillance.

Asian Tiger Mosquito Biology

Description: Description: albopictus larvae
Description: Description: mating albopictus

•       Female Asian Tiger Mosquitoes seek water-holding containers in which to lay their eggs.

•       Outdoor containers are more often chosen as opposed to indoor containers and outdoor containers in the shade are most often chosen.

•       Containers holding dark stained water high in organic content are preferred over containers holding clear, clean water.

•       Eggs are deposited along the sides of a container, just above the water surface.

•       The eggs are stimulated to hatch when the water level in the container rises and floods the eggs, provided the water temperature is above 60°F.

•       After hatching, mosquito larvae live in the water for one to several weeks, depending on water temperature and the amount of food present

•       Two to three days after emergence, female mosquitoes take their first blood meal.

•       Asian Tiger Mosquitoes rest, fly and bite close to the ground. They bite in the daytime, rarely at night. Early morning and late afternoon are peak biting times.

•       Asian Tiger Mosquitoes are strongly attracted to bite humans, but will feed on cats, dogs and other mammals, as well as birds active on the ground.

•       They will bite any exposed skin surface, but prefer to feed around the ankles and knees.

•       They bite outdoors and indoors, but are usually found outside.

•       Female Asian Tiger Mosquitoes lay 40 to 150 eggs after obtaining a blood meal.

•       The cycle of blood feeding and egg laying will continue throughout the mosquito's life span. Egg laying occurs about once per week. The maximum number of eggs laid per lifetime by female Asian Tiger Mosquitoes is about 300.

•       Adult Asian Tiger Mosquitoes live from a few days to several weeks, largely depending on weather conditions. Hot, dry weather reduces lifespan.

•       Regardless of life span, adult Asian Tiger Mosquitoes seldom move far from the containers in which they were born. Most adults will be found within a few hundred yards of the breeding container.

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes as Pests

•       The Asian Tiger Mosquito has become the primary pest species in many areas of Pennsylvania where, before the arrival of this mosquito, biting mosquito problems were slight. The intensely developed areas of Pennsylvania and the surrounding urban and suburban neighborhoods provide limited wetland and floodwater habitat essential for most mosquito species to thrive.

•       However, these urban areas are highly suited for the container breeding mosquitoes like the Asian Tiger Mosquito.

•       Breeding sites range from industrial yards with outdoor storage of tires and steel drums to affluent residential areas where outdoor statuaries and the pans beneath outdoor plants are common.

•       If a citizen of Dauphin County is bothered by Asian Tiger Mosquitoes, it is likely that the mosquitoes were produced in his/her yard or the properties adjacent to it.

Description: albopictus biting hand

Photo: Eric Naguski

Public Health Importance of Asian Tiger Mosquitoes

•       Asian Tiger Mosquitoes are known to carry the following diseases:

–    Dog Heartworm Disease

–    Eastern Equine Encephalitis

–    Dengue Fever

–    Japanese Encephalitis

–    Yellow Fever

–    St. Louis Encephalitis

–    La Crosse Encephalitis

–    West Nile Virus

Asian Tiger Mosquito Control

•       The best way to control the Asian Tiger Mosquito is to not breed it.  This means eliminating all suitable breeding habitats on your property and in your neighborhood. Oftentimes this means cleaning up trash and dumping out anything that is holding water. 

Description: Albopictus habitat fountain