For many people, coffee is the perfect way to start the day, end a meal, or help to recover after a long weekend. But while humans may tend to love the bitter flavour — usually with some cream and sugar — some insects find it toxic.
One of these coffee haters is the mosquito, particularly the species Aedes albopictus, also known as the Asian tiger mosquito. It’s not found in Canada but it can be found in pretty much any tropical area of the world as well as most of Europe and the United States. As with all mosquitoes, it’s a pest and a bite can lead to a bump and that annoying itchiness.
But there’s an even greater problem associated with this insect. It is a carrier of a variety of pathogens known to cause some serious viruses such as dengue, Chikungunya, and West Nile. All of these have the potential to cause long lasting infection and at times, death. The threat is so great many public health officials have sounded the alarm and brought viable control measures.