Are Asian Tiger Mosquitoes Dangerous – Can They Kill You?

Are Asian Tiger Mosquitos Dangerous

The Asian tiger mosquitoes are known to be aggressive biter.

Primarily they feed during the day and can transmit numerous diseases not only to humans but also to domestic and wild animals, including birds.

The Asian Tiger mosquito species is a potential vector (carrier) of Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, Zika Fever, Encephalitis, and Heartworm.

Can their bite kill you?

For 99.9%+ of the population, the answer is no, the bite from an Asian Tiger Mosquito will not kill you.

Although as with any bite from any creature, there is the possibility of an allergic reaction that in rare cases may kill a person.

To put that into perspective, you are far more likely to die on the plane to Spain or a country that has the Asian Tiger Mosquito than you are from getting bit.

But that doesn’t mean you should not take precautions.

If you are eager to know more about these mosquitoes, what attracts them most, how dangerous can they be, and how to prevent them in your home, let’s jump in…

What is the Asian Tiger Mosquito?

Originally from Southeast Asia, the tiger mosquito has managed to travel west to Europe and reach the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Spain.

It can be found along the Mediterranean coast and prefers warm, sub-tropical climates.

Although it is in Spain, it is quite different from the Spanish mosquito which also carries a painful bite.

As with most mosquitos, they not only prefer warm weather climates the year-round, they also are mostly found around stagnant pools of water such as puddles.

The pools of water are where they breed, and they generally fly up to 200 meters per day looking for food sources.

The mosquito is most active during the summer months from May to October.

Appearance:

In many ways, the Asian Tiger Mosquito looks like many mosquitos found around the world.

They have the classic appearance of long legs, a curled back, and the males have antennae which have receptors to pick up the buzz which are generated by the females.

In addition, this mosquito is distinctive because of its size.

They can grow up to 10 millimeters in length which makes them larger than the average mosquito.

This mosquito is quite distinctive thanks to its markings of silvery white and black which run across its body.

The most noticeable is a long silvery white stripe that runs from the head down the middle of its back.

Its legs are also striped with both black and silvery white markings as well.

Location:

As stated before, the Asian Tiger Mosquito originates from Southeast Asia, but only in the past couple of decades has it managed to move into the Mediterranean Sea coastline.

It was first noticed in Spain in 2004 and it may have traveled to the European region due to the warmer conditions over the past few decades.

Longevity:

As with most mosquitoes, the lifespan of the Asian Tiger Mosquito is quite short.

The females may live up to one month as they mature, breed, and then die.

The males usually live for only a week, fulfilling their function and breeding with a female-only to pass away shortly afterward.

What attracts them most:

As with most mosquitos, you are a food source.

Both the sight and scent that you generate will attract the mosquito to you.

The females are looking for blood to help them with their reproductive process, so you are vulnerable even if you take precautions.

The most common reasons for the mosquito to be attracted to you are as follows.

  • Movement
  • Low to no wind or air movement
  • High contrast with the surrounding area 
  • Scent generated by perfumes, colognes, or poor hygiene

How to Prevent Tiger Mosquito Bites?

Like most mosquitos, it is the female that bites and draws blood from its victims. The male is harmless as it feeds on plant nectar.

But the reputation of the Asian Tiger Mosquito is quite strong because of its large appearance, painful bite, and aggressive behavior.

As the bites can be painful, it is best to avoid coming across them in the first place.

What follows are some basic tips on how to prevent getting bit by the Asian Tiger Mosquito.

1- Light Colored Clothing

The first tip is to wear light colored clothing.

This is because dark clothing such as wearing dark blues or blacks attracts the mosquito.

This is because the mosquito is most active around dusk with the darker colors standing out which draws the mosquito in.

Light or neutral colors fool the mosquito into thinking that you are not a source of food, so they tend to stay away and look somewhere else.

However, the downside to wearing light-colored clothing is that it may attract wasps, so you might be trading one biting insect for another.

You will need to strike a balance in the color of clothing that you wear.

Light enough to avoid the Asian Tiger Mosquito, but not so bright that it attracts wasps.

2- Time of Day

As mentioned earlier, mosquitos are most active at dusk when the sun has gone down, but there is still enough light to see.

The same is true at dawn, although the cooler temperatures may keep the mosquitos from being as active.

Keep most of your outdoor activities limited to the daytime and nighttime hours.

And go inside just before dusk to change, eat, or do other things during the most active times for mosquitos.

Plus, stay inside until the sun comes up which will also avoid an active time for the Asian Tiger Mosquito.

3- Fans

A small electric fan is a great way to keep mosquitos away.

This is because mosquitos have considerable difficulty flying in windy conditions.

Their body structure combined with the shape of their wings makes it difficult for them to remain on surfaces even in moderately windy conditions.

A small battery-powered fan can “shoo” them away.

Just be sure to blow the mosquitos away from you and not toward anyone else.

Once they get the idea that it is going to be a real challenge to bite you, they will often give up.

Keep the fan handy, especially if you find yourself out in the hours of dawn or dusk.

4- Repellents

The right repellent is the most effective means of keeping mosquitos away from you.

The most effective type of mosquito repellent has DEET, a chemical that is quite potent, but also toxic.

You will need to find a product that contains from 15% to 30% DEET for the greatest effect.

However, too much DEET may cause some health issues if you are exposed for too long a period.

If you want to avoid DEET altogether, then you can look for repellents that contain natural products such as Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, sometimes called OLE.

Such natural products have no toxicity and are perfect for children, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Picaridin is quite effective at turning away both mosquitos along with ticks. And because it is non-corrosive, it will not damage your clothing.

Be sure to apply the repellent before going out and reapply during the day.

You’ll want to apply it again just before dusk to provide an added layer of protection when the mosquitos are most active.

Can Asian Tiger Mosquito Kill

What to Do If Bitten by Asian Tiger Mosquito?

Let’s say that despite your best efforts, you get bit by an Asian Tiger Mosquito.

It is going to be a more painful bite that you receive from most breeds of mosquitos.

Although it can be hard to resist you should not scratch the bites.

What follows are a few treatment tips you can try instead…

1- Cold Compress

The pain associated with a mosquito bite comes from the damage to the skin, the introduction of foreign substances that come from the mosquito.

And the swelling that is caused due to the reaction by the body.

You can reduce the swelling by applying a cold compress to the area of the bite. This will reduce the pain, swelling, reddening, and itchiness.

You can use ice but be sure that it is wrapped in a towel or cloth to prevent damage to the skin.

2- Antihistamines

The swelling is caused by the histamines in the body reacting to the bite.

By taking an antihistamine, you reduce the swelling considerably which also reduces the pain.

Keep in mind that an allergic reaction is often the generation of too much histamine and the body’s immune system mistaking a bite for a serious infection.

If you are subject to allergic reactions, you should have an antidote at the ready and the location of the nearest hospital or treatment center.

3- Hydrocortisone

This is a product that is mostly found in topical creams.

You can simply apply it to the skin over the bite which will take away the itchiness.

You can also use aloe vera, a natural substance that also cools the skin and reduces itchiness.

The Conclusion

For the most part, the bite of the Asian Tiger Mosquito will not kill you and is treatable.

However, in almost all cases the bite from this species will be quite painful, and can spread diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, encephalitis, and canine heartworm.

The best way to treat a bite from the Asian Tiger Mosquito is to avoid them in the first place.

By taking a few precautions, you can avoid the bite of the Asian Tiger Mosquito.

But even if you are bitten, it is not the end of the world, as you can always try the above-mentioned home remedies.

Only in very rare cases of an extreme allergic reaction has anyone died of being bitten.

You should be prepared with the right medications and cold compresses to take the sting out of the bite.

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