Not a member? Sign up now
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, city dwellers, but the urban landscape just got a hell of a lot more scary. Added to the daily possibility of experiencing an unwanted mugging or enduring someone's impromptu rendition of "Stand By Me" on the subway, urbanites now have something called the tiger mosquito to worry about.
Named for its distinctive black-and-white striped body and its aggressive nature, the tiger mosquito is the T-1000 of the mosquito world. Not only is it bigger, more vicious, and more flexible in its feeding hours than your average mosquito (unlike the T.M., most mosquitoes feed at night), it's also more likely to hold a grudge. "You can try and swat it all you want, but once it's on you, it doesn't let go," said Dina Fonseca, an associate professor of entomology at Rutgers University. "Even if it goes away, it will be back for a bite."
The strain of super-mosquito is said to have been introduced to the states back in 1985, when a Japanese cargo ship carrying used truck tires and tiger mosquito eggs arrived in Texas. Coming into contact with water, the mosquitoes hatched and have been making their way over the years from Texas to Florida and up along the East Coast. "Now, more than half of the states have this aggressive species," said Gary G. Clark, a research leader with the Agriculture Department. Attracted to the warmer climate of urban areas, tiger mosquitos are coming to the nation's cities earlier in the year and staying longer.
As the tiger mosquito is also considered a "containment mosquito," meaning they can pretty much grow anywhere where there's water, cities spraying for mosquitos are going to have a hard time controlling the problem. Efforts are in development of a cost-effective method to control the epidemic, including the use of larvacides, which inhibit larvae from reaching adulthood. But if that doesn't work, I think major cities should start to re-think their conceal and carry laws. There's nothing worse than not having a gun when a mosquito the size of a pterodactyl tries to steal your wallet.