Mosquitoes in Virginia
Mosquitoes in VA
There are about 50 species of mosquitoes found in Virginia; however, only about 30 species are commonly encountered. Many of Virginia’s residents often associate mosquitoes with lowland swamps, coastal salt marshes, and other similar watery environments. While this is the case for many mosquitoes in Virginia, often times the mosquitoes that develop in less obvious sources are the ones most likely to create problems. For example the Virginia Mosquito Control Association reports the Asian tiger mosquito, an invasive species, is the mosquito that is number one when it comes to biting people living in Virginia.
Asian Tiger Mosquitoes in Virginia
The Asian tiger mosquito is known as a container developer since its development habitats are made up of artificial or natural containers that hold water and the female lays her eggs in “containers” of water or tree holes. Since this mosquito is a poor flier, and the best way to control the Asian tiger is by eliminating its breeding places that may be found near the home. In general, suitable development sites for this mosquito are tree holes, tires, cans, buckets, flower pots, bird baths, rain gutters, and downspouts, plus neglected wading pools and boats that accumulate and hold water.
Asian tiger mosquitoes are active during daylight hours and avoid open, sunlit sights. They also spend much of their time as adults resting in dense foliage waiting for a potential host to come along. While they are certainly persistent in their desire to bite a host, they are quite wary and will likely bite the ankle and lower portion of the leg. So, if you are outside during the day, there is little or no wind, in the shade of your patio or porch, and you notice mosquitoes cautiously flying around, there is a good chance they are Asian tiger mosquitoes.
Virginia Mosquitoes & Disease
The most common diseases transmitted by mosquitoes in Virginia are West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis. While there have been cases of Zika virus reported in Virginia, all cases through 2016 are associated with travel to countries that are Zika-affected.
Virginia residents do not have to fight back against mosquitoes all by themselves. There are many counties in the State that conduct programs to manage and prevent mosquito populations.