Mosquito tests positive for West Nile virus in The Woodlands

Asian tiger mosquito bites during day instead of at night

THE WOODLANDS, Texas - Health officials are warning about an aggressive type of mosquito which had tested for positive for West Nile virus in The Woodlands.

The Asian tiger mosquito, known to be extremely aggressive, bites during the day instead of at night like its counterpart, the southern house mosquito.

Because they hunt for blood during the daylight hours, controlling them is almost impossible.

"There's not a spray program for the daytime mosquitoes because they've gone into hiding," said The Woodlands Environmental Services Manager Lynne Aldrich.

The Asian tiger mosquito is very distinct with white stripes covering its black body.

Aldrich said the common mosquito tends to prefer biting birds but not the Asian tiger.

"(The Asian tiger) mosquitoes will bite pretty much anything," said Aldrich. "They are very aggressive and fast."

To make matters worse, the common mosquito is only capable of transmitting West Nile virus to humans but the Asian tiger mosquito has been known to carry at least four other potentially deadly viruses, including Dengue fever.

According to Aldrich, only one mosquito was found to be carrying the West Nile virus in The Woodlands in 2012. So far this year, she said 97 mosquitoes have been found to be carrying West Nile, and we're still a month away from peak season.

"To have it start this early and be this active, we're probably in for it," Aldrich said.

Experts said Asian tiger mosquitoes are very weak fliers that don't stray far from their breeding sites. Your best bet to keep them away is check all containers often for standing water.

"They go from egg to adult in maybe three or four days," Aldrich said. "So it needs to be (cleared of standing water) twice a week to keep that under control."

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