What do tiger mosquitoes look like?
Asian tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) are relatively small and have a black body with clearly visible white stripes (Figure 1 A, B, C).
But be careful, not every dark mosquito with stripes is a tiger mosquito! In Central Europe, for example, the banded mosquito (Culiseta annulata) is present in very many residential areas. It is dark brown and has conspicuously striped legs and abdomen, and there are spots on its wings (Figure 1 D). The Asian tiger mosquito is not dark but distinctly black in color, with a silvery-white line running down the middle of the head and thorax. Furthermore, the tiger mosquito is smaller than the banded mosquito.
Figure 1: A – C) Female tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus). C) Female banded mosquito (Culiseta annulata).
How can citizens help in the fight against tiger mosquitoes?
In the last 30 years, the Asian tiger mosquito has spread rapidly around the world. To limit the further spread of the species as much as possible, the help of citizens is a very important aspect.
The following measures can be carried out by everyone in their garden:
- Eliminate breeding sites: In uncovered areas, vessels such as buckets, pots, watering cans, birdbaths, etc. can fill with rainwater and become breeding sites. Therefore, all vessels must be stored in such a way that water cannot accumulate. Store vessels in a covered area, cover them with a tarp, store them in a crate or with the opening facing down. Plant pot saucers must be filled with sand or gravel to prevent larvae from developing there.
- Empty potential breeding sites: Unavoidable containers with standing water must be emptied regularly - at least once a week. If you pour the contents into a flower bed, for example, any mosquito larvae present in the water will die in the process due to desiccation. Since the eggs are often laid at the edge of the vessel, you should also brush the vessels from the inside above the water column or scald them with very hot water.
- Cover potential breeding sites: Seal your water storage tanks (rain barrels, cisterns) well with tightly fitting tight-mesh netting or a lid. You should remove constructs that prevent this (e.g. overflows, gutters, or drainpipes that extend far into the rain barrel). Tiger mosquitoes exploit even the smallest loopholes!
- Treat non-eliminable breeding sites: Some water reservoirs cannot be effectively covered or emptied regularly (e.g. gullies, cisterns, rain barrels). These can be treated with BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis).
- Mosquito traps: Mosquito traps are not just for researchers. You can equip your garden with BG-Mosquitaire and BG-GAT traps.The BG-Mosquitaire is similar to the well-known BG-Pro and BG-Sentinel research traps in operation and trapping performance. We ourselves and many scientists use them for mosquito monitoring and control purposes. Use the experience of science and benefit from professional products.
- Not sure if you caught a tiger mosquito?
Send us a photo by e-mail (please make sure that the photo is focused and well exposed).