Asian tiger mosquito is a problem in Franklin County

Franklin County is dealing with a “bite” from an invasive mosquito problem.

“We get 30 to 50 complaint calls every year, and 80 percent of them are related to Asian tiger mosquito problems,” said Jason Goetz, Franklin County’s mosquito control specialist.

According to Goetz, it is documented that the invasive species (Aedes Albopictus) first reached the USA in the mid-1980s with shipments of used tires from North Asia.

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The mosquito is found across the country in man-made containers that breed in man-made containers such as unused buckets, tarps, corrugated pipes, clogged gutters, and perhaps most importantly, old tires.

“They prefer to breed in these artificial containers than in nature. With many mosquito complaints that I visit, I end up finding tires full of water on the ground,” said Goetz. “As soon as water is trapped in the wall of the tire, it stays there because it is protected from the elements and does not evaporate. It has nowhere to go.”

How do I know if I have a problem with Asian Tiger Mosquitos?

According to Goetz, the first signs of the Asian tiger mosquito are bitten during the day.

“Most mosquitoes bite at night, but the Asian tiger bites during the day and it’s not just one bite, it’s several,” he said. “They are very aggressive and have the potential to transmit and transport many viruses such as the West Nile and Zika viruses.

The first was found on site in 2007.

“It was a single mosquito that was caught in a trap. Since then, Franklin County’s Mosquito Borne Disease program has watched these mosquitoes build populations across the county over the years, and by 2020, Asian tiger mosquitoes were trapped in every community and district within the county.

“There was a trap in Franklin County where we caught nearly 2,000 Asian tiger mosquitoes. To put that number in perspective, anything over 40 suggests a mosquito problem.”

There are currently 400 trapping sites in the entire county, around 120 of which are actively monitored.

How do we fix the problem?

To manage the population a few simple steps can be taken at the homeowner level down to the county level.

  • First, try to rid your property of potential man-made water collection devices.
  • Second, understand what species you are dealing with. Asian tiger mosquitoes are black with white stripes.
  • Third, if you can’t find breeding ground on your property, do your research and ask your neighbors, they usually don’t fly more than 200 meters from where they were born. Once found, discard the water and place the item under a cover to avoid collecting water.

“[Asian tiger mosquitoes] are a huge problem that could even be a tiny problem if every citizen made sure that there were no artificial containers lying around, “said Goetz.” The removal of the breeding habitat is the number one defense strategy around the [them] around your home. Without the ability to lay eggs, the Asian tiger populations will quickly decline. “

Jason Goetz, mosquito and tick-borne disease control specialist in Franklin County, detains an Asian tiger mosquito.

Population growth usually occurs in mid-July, peaks in mid-August, and subsides in September as nighttime temperatures drop.

To become active

To combat the invasive species, an event to collect used and unwanted tires will take place on October 22nd from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm in the former Franklin County Jail.

The collection point, located at 625 Franklin Farm Lane in Chambersburg, is managed by Franklin County’s Planning Department as part of the Mosquito and Tick Disease Control Program.

The collection is designed to help residents dispose of old tires for a reduced fee while eliminating potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

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The participants of the event are asked to register in advance. The following applies to the event: first come, first served with a limit of 20 tires per household.

Tire disposal guidelines and costs are $ 2 for vehicle tires up to 35 “, $ 4 for 36 to 47” tires, and $ 15 for 48 “or larger tires. Tires that are mounted on rims and tires that are full of dirt will not be accepted.

Residents can access the registration form online at Forms are also available through the Franklin County’s Planning Department by calling 717-261-3855 or emailing [email protected] All completed registration forms and checks payable to FCPC must be submitted to the Franklin County Planning Department, 272 N. Second St., Chambersburg, PA 17201 no later than October 15th.

For more information, contact the Franklin County Planning Office at 717-261-3855 or [email protected]

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