Provided by Prince William County Office of Communication
The most notorious mosquito species in Prince William County is the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. It was first introduced to the U.S. in 1985 in Houston. Since then, it has become well established across the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states.
In Prince William County, Asian tiger mosquitoes rank as the second most common mosquito species captured in the Mosquito and Forest Pest Management Branch’s trapping program. Asian tiger mosquitoes are a small, black-and-white species, identified easily by a single white stripe in the center of the scutum (body section between the head and wings).
In its native habitat, Asian tiger mosquitoes breed in tree holes and rock pools. Their invasive success is due to their use of artificial containers for breeding.
These mosquitoes require as little as a bottlecap filled with water, and often seek out birdbaths, buckets, tires, flowerpots, etc. for breeding. Additionally, Asian tiger mosquitoes are aggressive human biters, leading to their widespread prevalence in urban and suburban areas.
Asian tiger mosquitoes are a diurnal (active in daytime) species. At night, when aerial pesticide applications for mosquitoes are most effective, these mosquitoes are usually resting in foliage, making it difficult to effectively control them.
The most effective form of control is to remove breeding habitats, by cleaning up any items that hold water around the home or dumping and refreshing water in items like children’s pools and birdbaths weekly. So, remember to “tip and toss” when encountering mosquito issues around the home.