Asian tiger mosquitoes are spreading in the continental US. Scientists warn that Asian tiger mosquitoes bite throughout the day, carry disease, and lay eggs that can survive winter.
Sally Finneran/The Grand Rapids Press/AP/File
There's a new pest invading many American towns: the Asian tiger mosquito.
Named for the black-and-white stripes on its body, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) was first brought to Texas in a shipment of tires (which are notorious for holding the standing water that mosquitoes require for breeding), the Wall Street Journal reports.
The bug is worrisome for several reasons: Unlike other mosquitoes, the aggressive Asian tiger bites all day long, from morning until night. It's partial to humans, but also attacks dogs, cats, birds and other animals.
"Part of the reason it is called 'tiger' is also because it is very aggressive," Dina Fonseca, associate professor of entomology at Rutgers University, told the Journal. "You can try and swat it all you want, but once it's on you, it doesn't let go."
The Asian tiger mosquito joins other insects now threatening U.S. residents. Gallinippers (Psorophora ciliata), for example, are a type of shaggy-haired mosquito with an unusually painful bite; they're currently found throughout much of Florida.