Q. What is the biggest mosquito problem in the middle of the summer?
A. Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito. June, July, and August are the peak months for this mosquito.
Q. What does the tiger mosquito look like?
A. Small, black mosquito with white stripes on its legs. It has a white stripe on the middle of its back (or thorax).
Q. Where do the Asian tiger mosquitos breed?
A. The tiger mosquito lays her eggs in containers like flower pots, plastic trays, buckets, and old tires with standing water. In fact, anything that will hold water for 4 or 5 days is a good breeding site.
Q. Why 4 or 5 days?
A. The tiger mosquito has a life cycle like a butterfly: egg, larva (or caterpillar) with 4 larval instars, pupa, and then adult. The difference is that mosquitos are tied to an aquatic environment. As adults, they can live outside the water, but as larva, or in the early stages, they must be in water.
Q. What is the tiger mosquito's hatch cycle?
A. The tiger mosquito has an asynchronous hatch cycle, which means that the eggs hatch 1 or 2 at a time. So, even if the area is sprayed -- thereby killing the adults -- the maturing young will replace the adults, usually within 24-48 hours.
Q. Why is the tiger mosquito harder to control than other mosquitos?
A. The tiger mosquito is a daytime flyer with a range of approximately 300 feet from its breeding site. About the time other mosquitos are actively flying, the tiger mosquito is resting for the night. Therefore, when the conditions are best for spraying (see question below), the tiger mosquitos are not around.
Q. What is the best way to control tiger mosquitos?
A. The same way for all mosquitos: "Tip and toss". Empty standing water in old cans, bottles, and tires, and then dispose of them. Regularly (at least once per week) dump standing water from flower pot dishes, trays, etc. Turn upside down unused garbage cans, buckets, etc. Regularly empty and refill birdbaths. Eliminate the mosquitos breeding sites, and you control the population. [For more tips, select the Mosquito web page from the menu below.] But, in order to be truly effective, everyone needs to do this. Encourage your neighbors to join you in "tip and toss".
Q. Why do the trucks spray at night?
A. After the sun sets, a "temperature inversion" occurs where the ground temperature is warmer than the air temperature. This happens because the sun is no longer around to warm the air, but the earth retains the heat that the sun has provided throughout the day. The cooler air holds the spray close to the ground where the mosquitos are actively flying, making nighttime the best time to spray. Early morning, before the sun comes up, also is a good time to spray.
Q. How effective is spraying?
A. Spraying this year, both by truck and plane, has killed 75-80% of the adult mosquito population.
Q. Why isn't the area around my house sprayed?
A. There are 3 reasons that an area might be avoided:
• You are in a remote or heavily-wooded area that is difficult for Operation Services equipment to access.
• You live near a body of water. Some chemicals that are used for spraying must not be used within a certain number of feet from water. However, you can get brickettes ("donuts") from Operation Services to treat your pond. (Instructions for use are on the back of the package, as well as through this link.)
• You might have a neighbor(s) with severe allergies. (Generally, those individuals cooperate with Operation Services in treating their area. However, conflicts still might exist.)
Contact Operation Services for answers regarding your specific area.