Asian tiger mosquitoes will be a problem for New Jersey residents this summer and many more to come. According to state officials, the mosquitoes “are here to stay.”
The mosquito, which came from Asia, came to the state around a decade ago and is considered aggressive compared with domestic variants. After recent rains, New Jersey will be a hotspot for the insects.
“It’s going to ruin your backyard barbecue in the middle of the day,” Pete Rendine with the Bergen County Mosquito Control Division told CBS New York. “They definitely bite during the day.”
Local Dave Bedford has dealt with the Asian tiger mosquitoes–named as such because they have striped legs and markings on their bodies–first hand.
“They swarm. You can’t get away from them,” he told CBS. “Even the dogs — they walk and are constantly brushing their faces hard to get away from them.”
The mosquito was first discovered in New Jersey’s Monmouth County in 1995 and has spread north in the past 18 years. It has become a problem in Bergen and Passaic counties.
Eric Green, the mosquito control officer for Passaic County, told The Record: “The Asian tiger mosquito is an extremely aggressive insect that has largely supplanted japonicus [mosquitoes] since 2008, especially in urban and suburban areas.”
He added that the mosquitoes are possibly “a more efficient disease vector, especially for West Nile virus” as they bite “in daytime and could put more people at risk.”
And other officials in New Jersey say the mosquito has adapted to the state’s climate.
“They are here to stay,” Pete Rendine, the mosquito control division of the Bergen County Public Works Department chief inspector, told the paper.
“This is an extremely obnoxious nuisance mosquito,” said Claudia O’Malley, a state biologist, told The Associated Press. “It is impossible to control without concerted efforts by homeowners in eliminating the breeding habitat,” she added.