HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) - Asian Tiger Mosquitoes are as aggressive as they sound and a real problem in Hampton Roads.
The pesky bloodsuckers bite all day long and spread disease. According to the Center for Disease Control, Asian Tiger Mosquitoes are host to five different viruses in the U.S., and complaints are starting to come into local mosquito control operations about those biting bugs.
Between August and late September is peak mosquito season, and recent rainfall in Hampton Roads has helped the bugs thrive.
“I've got bites all over,” said Michelle Harrington, a Hampton resident. “It’s been a horrible season. I can't remember the last time I’ve been so eaten up by mosquitoes.”
And those mosquito bites are likely from a single source.
“Most of our citizen concerns are coming from the Asian Tiger Mosquito,” said Joe Simmons, Director of the Chesapeake Mosquito Control Commission. “These are the mosquitoes that breed in people's yards. They're container breeders. They breed in pots, buckets, bird baths and clogged gutters -- that sort of thing.”
Simmons said the best way to limit an excess of mosquitoes near your home is to eliminate any standing water.
“As long as there's water available, mosquitoes are going to breed, and when it’s warm they breed very quickly. I would say in the last 10 days, our requests for service have gone up a little bit.”
Mosquito spraying in Hampton is on-going, but Harrington has her own plan of attack, starting with a repellent.
“Spray, stay indoors, try to say covered up as much as possible, but its kind of hard when it’s this hot,” she said.
And if you have to be outside, what you wear can also attract mosquitoes -- avoid wearing darker colors.
Cutting back on drinking beer can also help – just one bottle makes you a mosquito magnet because it causes your skin to give off ethanol through your pores. It also raises your body heat, which attracts mosquitoes.
Sweat can also attract the bugs.
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