Bites of Passage
September 27, 2009 6:20 AM   Subscribe

"The old distinction between mosquito territory and human territory – and the idea that the one can be reclaimed from the other – has collapsed. Now humans come first and mosquitoes follow." How the Asian tiger mosquito left the jungles of Southeast Asia to take over the world, one used tire at a time.
posted by sloweducation (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Wikimedia has a nice collection of itch-tastic pics.
posted by Decimask at 6:37 AM on September 27, 2009

CDC map.
posted by dragonsi55 at 7:24 AM on September 27, 2009

These buggers are not just a summertime nuisance; the symptoms of eastern equine encephalitis virus are serious business. (Being from Western Canada we have our own variation on EEEV, as well as West Nile and Bird Flu, so we're familiar with taking skeeters seriously.)

Thankfully, according to the first link, the risks of these tiger mosquitoes transmitting dengue fever in New Jersey are extremely low. That one's nasty.

For prevention of bites, garlic oil is one of the best organic repellents available: Garlic oil concentrate will repel mosquitos for up to 4 weeks. Unfortunately it also repels human companionship for a similar amount of time.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:25 AM on September 27, 2009

Take over the world, except for those places colder than New Jersey. Looks like those mosquitoes are going to have to wait for global warming to really kick in before they take over New England or Canada.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:44 AM on September 27, 2009

Why does living in the middle of Texas mean I get every horrible invasive species? Killer bees, fire ants, now Asian mosquitoes. It's almost like god is smiting ... oh. I see.
posted by patrick rhett at 8:14 AM on September 27, 2009 [13 favorites]

These bastards own my Louisiana backyard. When I want to go out and grill I erect a four-fold defense: bug-zapper, bug-repellent with 25% deet, citronella candles, and a pre-dosage of Benadryl. What bothers me is that all of these things treat the symptoms and not the disease. I want nasty chemicals YIMBY.
posted by rlk at 9:15 AM on September 27, 2009

Ugh, plagued with these suckers here in TX; definitely are more of them than the little grey whining mosquitoes that got you when I was younger. Tiger mosquitoes make a bigger splat too when you squish em.

Between these and the chiggers, your feet don't stand a chance in Texas.
posted by emjaybee at 9:22 AM on September 27, 2009

Looks like those mosquitoes are going to have to wait for global warming to really kick in before they take over New England or Canada.

Think again.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:32 AM on September 27, 2009

No, we (Canada) are likely to be safe from that particular skeeter according to the first link. As for KokuRyu's malaria link it's past history; we eradicated malaria in southern Canada in the 1950's (though the last link in this comment also states it _may_ come back due to climate change.)
posted by Hardcore Poser at 10:03 AM on September 27, 2009

We have these here in brooklyn - nasty, nasty buggers. I hate them with a passion - each time I smush one it is a small victory in a loosing war. I bought a bat house to see if that would help - still need to hang it, tho. I'm not sure if it would work, even but what the hell, it makes me feel like I'm doing something.
posted by deliquescent at 10:24 AM on September 27, 2009

It might also help to remind folks that dragon flies and damsel flies are our friends, not enemies. They don't sting! The thing on their tail is for mating. I'm always amazed at how many people I see afraid of those beautiful, beneficial, fabulous flying bugs.
posted by Goofyy at 12:55 PM on September 29, 2009

Interesting story, but man that is shittily written.
posted by blue shadows at 11:16 PM on October 3, 2009

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