LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Asian tiger mosquito has been found in Michigan for the first time this year, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has announced.
Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) and Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito) can transmit viruses like dengue, chikungunya and Zika to people.
The mosquito was found in Wayne County. It was also found in Wayne County in 2017, 2018, and 2020.
These mosquitoes are widespread in tropical areas, including in the United States, but they don’t naturally live in Michigan. Occasionally, they can travel in shipments from states where the mosquitoes are already established.
However, that may be changing. Due to warming climates, MDHHS said they are spreading to more northern areas.
“Although we have not had any illnesses associated with these species of mosquitoes in Michigan, it is important to take precautions since other mosquitoes can spread viruses such as West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis to people,” said Dr. Mary Grace Stobierski, MDHHS Emerging & Zoonotic Infectious Diseases manager. “Recent heavy rainfall and flooding has led to a general increase in mosquito activity throughout the state, so we urge Michiganders to take precautions such as using an EPA-registered insect repellent when outdoors.”
The Asian tiger mosquito can live in areas with climates ranging from tropical to temperate.
Here are some ways to avoid these mosquitoes:
- Eliminating sources of standing water such as wading pools, old tires, buckets and containers by dumping water to prevent mosquito eggs from hatching or larvae from developing into biting adults.
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors.
- Applying an EPA-registered insect repellent according to label instructions.
- Making sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.
- Using a licensed mosquito-control company.