I'm Marcy Mosquito, an Asian Tiger Mosquito, or Aedes albopictus, if you want to get all formal. I'm quite nice to look at with my dark, black body and fascinating white stripes, if I may say so myself. Don't call me a zebra mosquito though - I’m a tiger!
My species has been very successful over the past 30 years and is spreading all over the world. We prefer warm temperatures, but evolution is on our side and we are adapting to cooler climates as well. Our eggs can diapause and survive temperatures as low as 14°F (or -10, for those of you who do Celsius)! You may wonder how we managed to spread from Asia to almost all over the world, even though we only fly small distances. Well, think about it. After all, you don't go everywhere by foot, do you? You’re extensively using cars, ships, and planes and we simply take a lift! Many of us came to the US because we like to lay our eggs in used car tires and you guys trade used car tires and other attractive breeding sites such as lucky bamboo and ship them between the continents – these are perfect hitchhiking opportunities for us, so thanks!
As for me, I live in Florida. I really like it here because it is warm year-round. I must admit that during the summer months I enjoy spending time hanging around in cool, shady bushes though. I have countless relatives in Europe, such as my dearest cousin Marie Mosquito who lives in southern France. I wanted to visit her for the holidays, but I prefer to wait until the summertime. Until then, I can laze around, be obtrusive, and produce a lot of offspring here. I need blood to produce eggs and I especially like human blood. It doesn't hurt when I bite you and there's no reason to be scared: it's just a little poke, after all. It's not always easy, but so far, I’ve always managed to fly away before someone catches me. We mosquitoes are real survivors.
Today, I'd like to take you to a house where they're celebrating Christmas Eve. Everything is so beautifully decorated - lights are flashing, candles are lit, and the Christmas tree is up. The highlight for me is when the whole family comes together. I have so many choices from whom to get my blood meal. There are four cars parked in front of the house, which means there may be a bunch of people sitting around the dining table right now, waiting to donate some blood for hungry little skeeters like me. So, let's get started! Last year, the door was wide open, and I flew right in past the family members as they arrived, but it seems to be closed now. There must be another other way to get through this door. Maybe I can squeeze myself through this tiny little slit. I pull my hind legs out from under the door, then my butt, but it's not working. Maybe I should have worked out more this year. But wait, there’s a tiny hole in the window screen! This is going to be super easy to pass through. Hurray! I can hear them munching their food and that makes my tummy growl. Mmm, there’s nothing tastier than a human who's just eaten.
„Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride
in a one-horse open sleigh“
I start humming along. I'm in the mood for Christmas. How about you? The lights and the music are always nice, as is having the choice of 14 people and a dog on the menu. Some of them are still very small, but they've got plenty of blood for me. Today, I want to enjoy the party, so I'll start with the little blonde girl – she’s already sleepy and might not notice me taking a bite. Mmm-mmm good. Now my tummy is full. Come on, let's sit on the curtain rod and follow the fun a little while longer. They've got delicious looking food on the table and everyone helps themselves to plenty of it. After the meal, another song starts in the background. Time for dessert!
„Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace“
Oh, it's so cozy here. I'm going to hide under the table and sleep there until the morning when they come down to open their presents.
What a peaceful night! The kids are already awake before it's even light and now have woken everyone else up. It's finally time. I love watching the kids being so happy over what Santa has brought them! But this year mom and dad probably got the biggest gift... that's a pretty big present... I wonder what's inside! Yikes, oh no. Do you recognize it? I'm shocked. It is... It is a BG-Mosquitaire mosquito trap from Biogents!
How could they do this to me? I will never be able to visit this family again, because next time would be my last as I would never even reach the house when they put the trap in their yard. That's how one of my sister’s was killed. Right in front of my eyes! I hear this trap smells great and promises a shady spot inside. Those tricky people at Biogents.
Quick, I have to get out of here! We don't want any bad luck to happen on Christmas morning. And for next year, I have to find another cozy home to celebrate Christmas!