PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Asian Tiger mosquito is a pest, a nasty one. It has made its way through 27 states in 30 years since its arrival in Texas on board a shipment of used tires.
“The Asian Tiger mosquito carries several different diseases of man and domestic animals,” says Bill Todaro of the Allegheny County Health Department.
“I’ve heard about them, but like I said, I haven’t seen them,” said Mary Anne Olinick, a Lawrenceville resident.
But Olinick and her neighbors may soon know they’re here. The black and white striped biter is now confirmed in the city’s Lawrenceville neighborhood.
“We’re very concerned about having it in a dense neighborhood like Lawrenceville,” says Todaro.
As with most mosquitos, the Asian Tiger treats human beings like a cafeteria menu; but unlike normal mosquitos, these bite all day. No one is immune.
“See there’s one right here on your leg, Mary Robb,” said Todaro. “That’s the Asian Tiger mosquito; you can see by the stripes on its back.”
Todaro and Leah Lamonte are putting out 20 traps a week.
“They go in there to lay their eggs, they get sucked up into this little container, and Leah sends them to the state for testing,” said Todaro.
According to the American Mosquito Control Association, to help avoid the bites: wear light-colored clothing, no perfume, shower often, use repellents containing DEET and burn citronella candles.
Most important, limit the mosquito breeding grounds by “tipping and tossing” all standing water in old tires, bird baths, buckets and clogged gutters – any place where water collects.
The Allegheny County Health Department has already treated catch basins in Lawrenceville, but they can’t get to every backyard. So, if you are bitten, try a dab of minty toothpaste on the bite or apple cider vinegar, baking soda, aloe vera or a slice of lemon. It’ll take the itch out.
If you are experiencing a lot of mosquitoes biting in your area, contact the Allegheny County Health Department so that they can determine the source.
The Health Department is offering these mosquito protection tips:
- Get rid of items that hold water — tires, buckets, flowerpots, junk piles and cans.
- Clean out roof gutters and storm drains.
- Change the water in birdbaths once or twice a week.
- Empty and turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
- Drain water from plastic coverings on swimming pools and outdoor furniture.
- Properly filter/chlorinate backyard swimming pools; dismantle those not in use.
- Fill in depressions on your lawn to prevent accumulation of water.
- Repair leaky outdoor faucets that can create a pool of stagnant water.
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