Michigan's first Asian tiger mosquito of 2021 detected in Wayne County

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

A mosquito that can transmit viruses such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika to people has been found the first time this year in Wayne County, officials said. 

Officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Wayne County Health Department made the announcement Wednesday.

This picture from the National Pest Management Association is of an Asian Tiger Mosquito.

They said the mosquito was discovered in Michigan for the first time 2017 in an industrial area of Livonia. It was later found in 2018 and 2020 — with both occurrences located in Wayne County.

"Although we have not had any illnesses associated with these species of mosquitoes in Michigan, it is important to take precautions since other mosquitoes can spread viruses such as West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis to people," Dr. Mary Grace Stobierski, emerging & zoonotic infectious diseases manager for the state Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. 

"Recent heavy rainfall and flooding has led to a general increase in mosquito activity throughout the state, so we urge Michiganders to take precautions such as using an EPA-registered insect repellent when outdoors."

Asian tiger mosquitoes are widespread from tropical to temperate regions of the globe, including many parts of the U.S, but they do not occur naturally in Michigan, where winters are usually too harsh for them to survive.

Health officials recommend Wayne County and Michigan residents protect themselves from mosquito bites by: 

► Eliminating sources of standing water to prevent mosquito eggs from hatching or larvae from developing into biting adults.

► Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors.

► Using EPA-registered insect repellent according to label instructions.

► Making sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.

► Using a licensed mosquito-control company.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez