Asian tiger mosquito may have Tri-State arms itching this summer

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - When it comes to things you won't want to see in the Tri-State this summer, the Asian tiger mosquito will be right up there. The what? Many of us have never heard of this urban-dwelling blood sucker. But a Cincinnati biologist is one of the nation's experts on it.

Prof. Gene Kritsky, of the College of Mount St. Joseph, says the Asian tiger mosquito can carry 20 diseases, including a flu-like disease not yet present in America. It's called chikungunya.

"People can feel perfectly fine, have the virus, and have it spread through with exposure to the mosquito," Kritsky said.

Warm, wet weather this year has provided the perfect breeding ground for these pests that, unlike the mosquitoes we're used to, bite all day and all night.

"The thing we should be cognizant of is it's possible to lessen your risk of exposure," said Kritsky. "And that would be to wear long sleeves and long pants when you go outside in areas where there are large mosquito populations and use DEET repellants."

Southerners are already used to the Asian tiger mosquito dive-bombing them, according to ScienceNews. Now, maps show the pests moving northward into the Tri-State. ScienceNews says that's because their eggs can survive our winters.

But this is a summer guest we'd rather not have.

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