Beware This Winter: Invasive 'Ankle-Biter' Aedes Mosquito Eating SoCal

Updated: Nov 5, 2018

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We haven’t seen mosquitoes around in Orange County for the whole year until recently when the weather starts to cool down. In this past week, my coworkers have been complaining about mosquito bites around the ankle during the day at work, which is abnormal compared to normal mosquitoes that bite during dusk and at night. One of my poor coworkers even developed serious skin infection and had to wear ice packs around her swollen ankles.

NBC Los Angeles has confirmed that this is an invasive mosquito species called Aedes albopictus, also known as the Asian Tiger Mosquito. It landed in California first in 2001 with shipments of bamboo from China and is coming back this year. They are way more aggressive and “smart” than local Culex Mosquitoes: they prefer human blood and like to bite you below the knees so it’s hard to be noticed; and, they can breed in as little water as ⅛ inch deep of water, e.g. a bottle cap that gets hit by a sprinkler.

With the upcoming rain season in Socal, they will be breeding and you don’t want to be eaten alive. To avoid scratching your ankles all-day, you can:

  • Check your environment very carefully for any standing water. Remember that this kind of “Ankle-Biter” can hatch eggs in water as small as a water bottle lid

  • Wear long pants and socks to fully cover your ankle and legs. Wear thick pants such as jeans instead of leggings

  • Though it’s cool enough outside, if you don’t have proper physical protection such as screen doors, keep your windows and doors closed during the day

  • Use mosquito repelling bands around your ankles

  • Finally, if you will bring your baby outside during the day, cover the baby carrier with a high-quality mosquito net. Check out our best-selling baby mosquito nets here.

Reference via @nbcla via @LATimes