Nothing Ruins A Summer Day Faster Than One Of These Bloodsuckers
It's a beautiful late-summer day. The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and you just fired up the grill for a glorious backyard BBQ. Then it happens - you look down and see that a mosquito has found a home on your leg. You swat at it and hope it's an isolated incident. But no, you're not that lucky. You turn around and see another. And another. And another. Before you know it, your pristine backyard has become infested with these annoying bloodsuckers.
And these aren't the mosquitos you remember from your childhood. Their unmistakable black and white pattern and aggressive nature set them apart.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Asian Tiger Mosquito didn't reach the continental United States until the mid-1980s, an accidental byproduct from tires being shipped from Asia. They are super aggresive, most active during the daytime hours, and are capable of carrying diseases including West Nile virus.
None of the usual deterrents seem to work either. You sprayed with Cutter last week. Useless. Citronella candles? Nice try. How much do you really want to lather yourself in bug spray before calling it and moving the entire backyard BBQ inside?
And here's more bad news: they aren't going anywhere. Not only are they adapting to cooler temperatures, but it seems that their eggs are now capable of surviving the winter too.
So what can we do? Prevention is key.
You've probably heard this before, but it works. Remove any and all standing water from your yard. The Asian Tiger Mosquito can develop in an ounce or less of water. Do yourself AND your neighbors a favor and follow this step. Don't be that guy with an uncared for bird bath, pool, or yard full of junk that can collect water. Your property can be dry as a desert, but if there's a pond of scum next door, you're still out of luck.
If mosquitoes are already present, DEET is considered the gold standard of repellents.
When it comes to clothing, loose-fitting and light-colored are advised.
Other than that, cross your fingers and hope that these nightmares don't ruin your perfectly planned day. We're all in this together, people.