Named for their striped bodies, banded legs and aggressive behavior, Asian tiger mosquitoes, Aedes albopictus, measure 2-11mm. The male Asian tiger species is generally 20 percent smaller than the female who needs a blood meal to reproduce effectively. Some other banded leg mosquito species can be mistaken for Asian tiger mosquitoes.
Imported to the US in the mid-1980s in a shipment of tires for recapping, Asian tiger mosquitoes are native to Southeast Asia. Described as aggressive and obnoxious by media outlets, Asian tiger mosquitoes are now considered to be the most invasive mosquito species in the US.
Asian tiger mosquitoes bite aggressively, transmit diseases and can survive colder temps
Unlike most indigenous species, Asian tiger mosquitoes bite aggressively and can survive the colder temperatures in northern climates. Since 1985, Asian tiger mosquitoes have spread to 37 states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. In fact, Asian tiger mosquitoes are the only mosquito species in the New York area that can transmit the Zika virus as well as over 20 other diseases, including West Nile fever, dengue fever, yellow fever and two types of encephalitis. Asian tiger mosquitoes can also transmit the chikungunya virus, that while rarely fatal, causes joint pain, fever, overall aches and pains, as well as headaches, nausea, vomiting, rashes and fatigue.