College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Environmental Science & Technology

Welcome to The Tip & Trash Project

Welcome to the Tip N Trash project of Washington DC and Baltimore City. Each month we will give you information on the project, mosquitoes you may find in DC and Maryland, and ways that you can reduce these mosquitoes in your backyard and neighborhood.

Learn more about the world's worst invader in Maryland and DC backyards - Asian Tiger Mosquito.

The Asian Tiger Mosquito is an imported pest and serious public health threat in the northeastern and greater eastern United States. Native to the East Asian region, “this species was first introduced to America into Texas in the 80s, through the import of used tires from Japan,” explains Dr. Leisnham.

Today, the Asian Tiger Mosquito can be found in more than 30 U.S. states and 40 countries. It is thought to be one of the fastest spreading animal species worldwide. “The mosquito has even been nominated among 100 of the “World’s Worst” invaders,” says Dr. Leisnham. “At least 11 viruses have been isolated from specimens in the field including Dengue, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, Japanese Encephalitis virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, and LaCrosse virus.”

Why Baltimore and Washington DC?

The Baltimore- DC region is at a higher risk of imported cases of exotic diseases since it is an important hub for global travel and trading. “Both cities also have high rates of HIV infection in comparison with national averages, including those living with AIDS, often exhibiting greater vulnerability to vector-borne pathogens than non-infected individuals,” says Dr. Leisnham. Moreover, current abatement methods for the Asian Tiger do not work. This is explained by the fact that the species grow in a vast array of small discrete water-collecting containers that lie across a patchwork of limited-access private land, and thus renders them too numerous to visit.

Community-based involvement is vital to reduce these containers. Dr. Leisnham is thus leading a citizen science program to resolve this issue through print and web-based educational material. Researchers from Universities are teaming up with public health agencies and foundations to develop and evaluate different education strategies, among diverse socioeconomic status and cultural groups.

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