Urban Mosquito

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Laura D. Kramer, professor of public health at SUNY Albany and director of the arbovirus laboratories at the New York State Health Department's Wadsworth Center, talks about a city pest - the Asian Tiger mosquito - that is proving aggressive and hard to control.


Laura D. Kramer

Comments [33]

Denis Hurley from Brooklyn, NY

I took a good picture of one a couple of years ago. You can really see the stripes:

Full post here:

Jul. 27 2011 05:30 PM

I haven't listened to the podcast (at work) but our Brooklyn community garden had a real problem with the Asian Tiger mosquito 2-3 years ago (we sent a few to Cornell for identification). Although it's hard to tell why, they seem to be gone or greatly diminished. Things we did: cleaned up rubbish and cluttered areas, put out pheromone traps and diligently dumped standing water. Things that may have also helped -- construction work on the sewer lines in the neighborhood or maybe the city sprayed without telling us. Possibly they simply moved on. In any case, we feel that the measures we took made a big difference, especially cleaning up cluttered areas -- not something you usually associate with mosquitoes.

Jul. 27 2011 01:12 PM

Amy, you read too deep into the Tiger Mom phenomena.....

Jul. 27 2011 01:02 PM
Douglas from New York

Tiger Balm® also comes in little red cans about the circumference of quarter you can carry around with you all the time(he normal originals comes in little glass jars with metal-screw-on lids). They are good for any types of swelling, including acne/pimples. If you apply it on more visible parts of your body like the face you can get the 'translucent' version(a.k.a 'white') which is a little weaker than the red/brown version. The tube-cream versions which is only meant for sore muscles/backs, not for bites. The normal ointment version as described earlier can also be used for muscle pain but it is 'smellier' and cost more in the long run than the creams. There are imitators out there, especially in Chinese groceries but get the original that's made in Singapore and don't apply it on your lips...unless you want the 'flaming lip effect', it's not a lip balm. You can get them at regular drugstores like Duane Reade but they are pricier than in Chinese pharmacies/drug stores/groceries.

Jul. 27 2011 12:27 PM
Ro from Manhattan from Manhattan

I lived in the Caribbean where fans and mosquitos are ubiquitous. When you go to bed, turn the fan on high and the little blighters can't even get airborn. Voila! No biting!

Jul. 27 2011 12:11 PM
Michael Cogan from Queens

Bacterium Thurigensis aka mosquito dunks in a pond prevent mosquito larva from maturing. No poisons needed. I spread b.t. in my rain gutters and on my roof for the same reason. The most successful remedy for mosquito bites is a thick paste of hand soap (plain old fashioned dial works best for me)-- While it is still wet the itching may intensify but once it is dry the itching disappears and if it has already been scratched,swelling will be reversed. You will forget it is there until you step in the shower and it gets wet again.

Jul. 27 2011 12:10 PM

Pesticides are terrible for the environment - look what is happening to the bees currently. We should be encouraging bats, who devour flying insects like wasps and mosquitoes, but who are under threat because of all the chemicals we use. Like bees, they are vital to homeostasis.

We have bats near us and they take care of most of the flying pests in our garden and are fascinating to watch at twilight, but never come near us. They still get a bad rap because of the rare but real threat of rabies, but mostly due to Old World superstitions. Go to Bat Conservation International who show you how to build bat houses amongst other things - make sure your attics are sealed tight though!

Jul. 27 2011 12:10 PM
Matthew from Manhattan

To the caller with the Bug Zapper: Bug Zappers are completly useless with mosquitos. Mosquitos are atrracted to the CO2 in our breath, not the light given off by Bug Zappers. Studies have shown the overwhelming majority of insects killed by Bug Zappers are either harmless and/or beneficial (some actually eat mosquitos).

So please, unplug the Zapper!

Jul. 27 2011 12:06 PM
Bill from New Rochelle

Amy from New Haven, either that; or they bit Charlie Sheen.

Jul. 27 2011 12:06 PM
J.Pike from NYC

Once bitten I find that a paste of Baking soda with a touch of water can help alleviate the itch and swelling. As a preventative, I use Olbas oil, Peppermint oil, or Tea Tree Oil. These oils seem to have an aroma that doesn't appeal to biting bugs. May also be helpful in thwarting unsolicited suitors as well!

Jul. 27 2011 12:03 PM

Is it true that mosquitos are attracted by potassium?

Jul. 27 2011 12:03 PM
Jenny from Bloomfield NJ

Minetto, New York-made "No Bite Me" cream by Sallyeander is the best thing I have found anywhere for bug bite prevention and post-bite itch relief! It is made from vegetable oils, mineral salts, and herbs, smells great, and mo chemicals! Great for babies and children

Jul. 27 2011 12:02 PM
Douglas from NYC

Fight the tiger's bite with a tiger.
I was born in S.E.A. and has been bitten umpteen times by this aggressor. Rub Tiger Balm immediately on the swelling/bite. It always helps to reduce the bump. Get the stronger red version

Jul. 27 2011 12:01 PM
Amy from New Haven, CT

I understand they're called Tiger Mosquitoes because their mothers forced them to take piano and Mandarin lessons and continually told they they weren't good enough. They're very angry and overachieving mosquitoes.

Jul. 27 2011 12:01 PM
Bill from New Rochelle

1) I bought a portable 'bug zapper' that looks like a tennis raquette. BRING 'EM ON! It's fun to bite back.

2) Plaintain weeds, in my lawn, chewed and applied to skin, are good for mosquito & bee stings.

Jul. 27 2011 12:01 PM
Max from Brooklyn

Dragon's Blood works great for the itching


Jul. 27 2011 12:01 PM
Elaine from New York

I heard you can dab *very* hot water immediately after being bitten can help ease the itching.

Also, Tiger balm (you can find it in Asian stores) is cooling and numbing.

Jul. 27 2011 12:00 PM
Jersey Guy from Jersey

I hate mosquitos. How do we eradicate them?

Jul. 27 2011 12:00 PM
ken druse from Brooklyn

Products with Camphor work for me. No other ones do.
Rhuli-Gel which is now called Benadryl brand, works better than anything I have tried.
Few products contain camphor.


Jul. 27 2011 12:00 PM
Simon from Long Island

I was told many years ago to use toothpaste, and it seems to help with small bites, at least. I sometimes camouflage my face with it when I get too many bites at night.

Jul. 27 2011 12:00 PM
Severn from Bklyn

Calendula gel - also works great on sunburn. The bite is usually gone by the next morning.

Jul. 27 2011 12:00 PM
Justin Carter from Fort Greene

Are there any natural suggestions for getting mosquitoes to go away? Natural predators? Plants that are deterrents?

Jul. 27 2011 11:59 AM
Mary Chione

I live by the South Beach wetlands on Staten Island and get eaten alive. I open Benadryl capsules into a tiny bottle and dissolve it in a little water, then apply it to brand new bites. This really works.

Jul. 27 2011 11:59 AM

Witch Hazel helps a lot

Jul. 27 2011 11:59 AM
Daniel from Munich

Best mosquito bite remedy: a cold beer. Repeat until effective.

Jul. 27 2011 11:59 AM

hi brian! I am a magnet for mosquitos. I found a great cure in helping deter th itch. New skin from band aid. it forms a seal,and blocks the air to prevent the itch!

Jul. 27 2011 11:58 AM

Sounds crazy, but scotch tape makes a mosquito bite stop itching and disappear completely.

Jul. 27 2011 11:58 AM

I put a piece of scotch tape on the bite. After a couple minutes it stops itching, and even if you scratch the tape protects your skin.

Jul. 27 2011 11:56 AM
Ruth from Manhattan

KEY- if you feel it try not to scratch it - that makes it worse.

Get some alcohol or witchhazel on a cotton ball and dab away!

Jul. 27 2011 11:56 AM
Old virologist from New Brunswick, NJ

This mosquito is an excellent vector for arboviruses. Does the Dr. Kramer this will allow some nasty diseases we haven't seen here get a foot hold in this country?

Dengue comes to the forefront of my mind.

Jul. 27 2011 11:55 AM
Sam from NJ

Tiger Balm. It works!

Jul. 27 2011 11:55 AM
Gabriel from NYC

Where did this mosquito come from?

The West Nile Virus coincided the arrival of the Bronx Zoo's Congo exhibit. The first dead birds were discovered in the zoo as well. Not once did I hear of a correlation.

Jul. 27 2011 11:48 AM
Richard Bonomo from Yonkers

Best treatment for mosquito bites is Tiger Balm

Jul. 27 2011 11:40 AM

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