Health Department warns of Asian Tiger Mosquitoes

By Laura Geller - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The health department is issuing a warning this holiday weekend about the Asian Tiger Mosquito. Health experts say it's the cause of most mosquito complaints across the state.

If you're going to spend a lot of time outside this July 4th weekend, you need to be prepared. The irritation of mosquito bites can turn to danger. The Asian Tiger Mosquito can carry West Nile Virus and Encephalitis. So, you need to protect yourself.

The health department says the best way to stay safe is eliminate areas where the bugs can breed right in your own backyard. Any place that has standing water, like tires, tarps, buckets or potted plants, can become a breeding ground for the Asian Tiger Mosquito. 

"If we can eliminate the places where the lay their eggs, we can eliminate their populations or at least reduce their populations to tolerable levels," said State Public Health Entomologist Dr. David.

After that, insect repellant is your best line of defense. There are obviously tons of choices when it comes to bug spray. The department of health says the most important thing to look at when choosing a product is look at the active ingredient list.

The best bet is to look for something that has Deet. Deet will offer you the longest protection. But if you want something that doesn't have as strong of a smell, the best bet is choosing a product that has Picaridin in it. The only problem with this is that you'll have to reapply frequently because it doesn't last as long.

Many stores are seeing a lot of requests for a new product called the "Off Clip-On Mosquito Repellent" fan.  

The health department says the fan sprays insecticide, not repellent, all around you. But experts are not sure what impacts, if any, constantly breathing in those vapors may have. Even the product website says avoid breathing the vapor, it may be harmful if inhaled. For more helpful tips on how to protect yourself, click here.

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