Asian Tiger Mosquito Reappears In Michigan

State environmental agency reiterates control measures

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE ) Scrap Tire Program said it recently received reports about the re-appearance of aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger) mosquitoes in Southeast Michigan. Kent County health leaders said mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile Virus in four of the county’s zip codes. In Wayne County, heath officials said Asian Tiger mosquitoes have been identified in an industrial area in Taylor.

Acting on information from Kent and Wayne counties where the mosquitoes were found, EGLE scrap tire program officials notified scrap tire companies in the state with an emphasis on Part 169 of Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environment Act addressing scrap tires. Although the statute requirements apply to mainly to collection sites, scrap tire program officials asked all scrap tire industry stakeholders ‘to please consider doing what you can to reduce mosquito breeding environments to reduce the spread of disease”.

West Nile virus is spread by Culex mosquitoes which also can transmit viruses such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika to people. These viruses usually are not fatal, but can be painful and lead to long-term health complications, health officials said

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive urged Michiganders to take precautions such as using an EPA-registered insect repellent when outdoors and eliminating sources of standing water such as old tires.

Michigan’s requirements for limiting mosquito breeding direct the owner or operator of a scrap tire collection site to to comply with one or more of the following: cover the tires with plastic sheets or other impermeable barriers; chemically treat the tires; or bale, shred, or chip the tires into pieces no larger than 4 inches by 6 inches and store in piles that allow complete water drainage.

South of Michigan, the Asian Tiger mosquito has become established in Midwest spots like Indiana, Ohio and parts of Illinois. They sometimes travel in containers of commercially-shipped products, which may be how the current batch arrived, officials said.

© Scrap Tire News, August 2020