Disease-carrying ‘Asian Tiger Mosquito’ is new to Wisconsin | NBC 26
GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Mosquito season is one downside to having warmer weather. In recent years, you may have heard of one particularly unfriendly pest – it’s a disease carrying mosquito that’s new to the Midwest called the Asian Tiger Mosquito.
“There’s evidence that it can vector West Nile virus which is established in Wisconsin, so that one in particular is a concern here,” said UW-Green Bay professor of Biology Mike Draney.
You may have heard of the Asian Tiger Mosquito back in 2016 when Zeka virus first hit the U.S. Experts say West Nile virus and Zeka virus are just a couple examples of the viruses the Asian Tiger Mosquito can carry.
They’re native to Southeast Asia and were first discovered in the southern United States before making their way north. The UW-Madison Department of Entomology first discovered the Asian Tiger Mosquito in Wisconsin in 2017.
Lyric Bartholomay was part of the team at UW-Madison that first discovered the mosquito in the badger state.
“We found it in a couple of places, one was in and around the Madison area and the other was around the Milwaukee area,” Bartholomay said.
Fortunately, Bartholomay says in recent years researchers have only found it in those two areas and they haven’t found it in large numbers. But experts warn you should still try to prevent getting mosquito bites to reduce the risk of contracting a disease.
Mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water, so one way to reduce the number of mosquitos around your house is to eliminate common sources of standing water.
“They could be in toys in your backyard, buckets, birdbaths or your gutters, so all those places are good places to try to get rid of standing water if possible,” Bartholomay said.
One thing experts do not recommend is spraying for mosquitos.
“Studies have shown that when there’s a lot of mosquitos in a nearby wetland, there will also be a lot of mosquitos in the neighborhood. So if you kill every last mosquito living in your backyard, a couple hours from now there’ll be new ones coming from elsewhere,” Draney said.
Instead, they say covering up, wearing bug spray, and using a fan to ward off mosquitos will be your best bet.
“One thing I recommend is just having a fan where you sit outside,” Draney said. “Mosquitos are not strong flyers and you can really keep them away if you have a breeze going.”