LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Remember when the giant murder hornets were big news? That may have fizzled but now the Asian tiger mosquito is flying into the spotlight.
The invasive mosquito has been found again in Wayne County, after first being discovered in the state in 2017.
Asian tiger mosquitoes have been known to carry viruses such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika to people.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, these mosquitoes are widespread from tropical to temperate regions of the globe, including many parts of the U.S.
“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 and Eastern Equine Encephalitis to people,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.
They are considered established in many midwestern states including Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. Occasionally, the mosquitoes will travel in commercial products shipped from states where they are currently established. This is likely how the mosquitoes have shown up in Wayne County.
Michigan residents can protect themselves from mosquito bites by:
- 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.