Scientific name: Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito)
Characteristics & Habitat
Aedes mosquitoes are visually distinctive because they have noticeable black and white markings on their body and legs. Unlike most other mosquitoes, they are most active when the temperature drops or when the weather gets cooler and their biting periods are early in the morning (dusk) and in the evening (dawn) before dusk. They do bite during the day or where their breeding ground is.
There are 2 types of Aedes mosquitoes; Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus. Both of these two mosquitoes can be recognized by white markings on its legs and a marking in the form of a lyre on the upper surface of the thorax.
Aedes Aegypti is a vector for transmitting several tropical fevers. To find a host, these mosquitoes are attracted to chemical compounds emitted by mammals and also the warmness heat and carbon monoxide from the human body. It has white striped legs.
Aedes Albopictus, also known as Asian tiger mosquito or “forest mosquito”, is a mosquito native to the tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia. It is characterized by its black and white striped legs and small black white striped body.
Like other mosquito species, only the females require blood as a meal to develop their eggs. The male feeds on nectar and other sweet plant juices. In regards to host detection, carbon dioxide and organic substances produced from the host, humidity and optical recognition plays an important factor.
Complete metamorphosis – egg, larvae, pupa and adult. Egg to adult takes around 6 to 8 days. The egg is black in colour and shape like a rugby ball. Larvae rest 45 degrees from the surface of the water. The lifespan of an adult is two to four weeks depending on conditions.
The Aedes is about 2 to 10 mm length with a striking white and black pattern. The variation of the body size in adult mosquitoes depends on the density of the larval population and food supply within the breeding water. Since these circumstances are seldom optimal, the average body size of adult mosquitoes is considerably smaller than 10mm.
The female lays her eggs near water; not directly into it as other mosquitoes do, but typically near a stagnant pool. However, any open container containing water will suffice for larvae development, even with less than an ounce of water in. It can also breed in running water, so stagnant pools of water are not its only breeding sites. It is more likely to lay eggs in water sources near flowers than in water sources without flowers. It has a short flight range (less than 200 m), so breeding sites are likely to be close to where this mosquito is found.
Signs & Infestations
Aedes is very difficult to suppress or to control due to its remarkable ability to adapt to various environments, its close contact with humans, and its reproductive biology.
The control of the Aedes mosquitoes begins with destroying the places where they lay their eggs, which are never far from where people are being bitten, since they are weak fliers, with only about a 180-metres (200-yard) lifetime flying radius. Locate puddles that last more than three days, sagging or plugged roof gutters, old tires holding water, litter, birdbaths, inlets to sewers and drainage systems holding stagnant water and any other possible containers or pools of standing or stagnant water. Flower pots, standing flower vases, knotholes and other crevices that can collect water should be filled with sand or fine gravel to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in them. Litter can also hold rainwater and should be removed.
Any standing water in pools, catchment basins, etc., that cannot be drained, or dumped, can be periodically treated with Pesticide Board approved labelled insecticides and larviciding.
Flowing water will not be a breeding spot, and water that contains minnows is not usually a problem, because the fish eat the mosquito larvae. Dragonflies are also an excellent method of imposing control. Dragonfly larvae eat mosquito larvae in the water, and adults will snatch adult mosquitoes as they fly.
Disease & Risks
Members of the Aedes genus are known vectors for numerous viral infections. The two most prominent species that transmit viruses are Aedes aegypti and Aedes Albopictus which transmit the viruses that cause Dengue fever, Yellow fever, West Nile fever, Chikungunya, Zika virus and along with many other, less notable diseases. Infections with these viruses are typically accompanied by a fever, and, in some cases, encephalitis, which can lead to death.
Jaya Pest Solutions encourages people to contact a pest control professional to get rid of mosquitoes effectively.