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Tiny Black Mosquitoes Wreak Havoc--Proper Protective Measures Should Be Taken to Avoid Being Bitten

  • Data Source:Ministry of Health and Welfare
  • Created:2014-07-04
  • Last Updated:2017-01-12

The media has been reporting on tiny black mosquitoes that have been causing trouble all over Taiwan recently. “Forcipomyia Taiwana”, generally called tiny black mosquitoes, is a native species of blood-sucking insect in Taiwan, stated the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). No relevant literature to date has shown that these tiny black mosquitoes transmit diseases, but they are annoying. To avoid the hassle of being bitten by tiny black mosquitoes, citizens are advised to take proper personal protective measures. 
 
Tiny black mosquitoes generally propagate in mass after the spring rainy season. Tiny black mosquitoes need to suck blood to spawn and propagate, and they usually lay eggs in places where blue-green algae or terricolous algae (green moss) grow. Thus, they often thrive in places inhabited by blue-green or terricolous algae and where crowds of people gather, so they can suck blood and reproduce. In the course of a day, blood-sucking by female mosquitoes peaks from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Therefore, people should avoid going near such places at their blood-sucking peak hours. Tiny black mosquitoes usually target the shins, knees, back of the hands, elbows and any other exposed places. Bitten areas will become extremely itchy, red and swollen, or even allergic. Cold wraps or antipruritic ointments may be applied to affected areas to alleviate the discomfort. Do not scratch bitten places or you may risk infecting the wounds. Consult a doctor in case of a serious allergic reaction. 
 
Comprehensive prevention and control is the best way to keep tiny black mosquitoes away. Taking personal protective measures will make it more difficult for tiny black mosquitoes to bite people and propagate. Therefore, people are advised to wear long-sleeve clothes and pants, or apply MOHW-approved mosquito repellents on exposed skin when going near locations inhabited by tiny black mosquitoes. In addition, the environment around one’s home should be well-managed, which includes keeping the surroundings dry, removing blue-green algae (green moss), growing dense grass (like Korean grass) as covering plants, or covering the ground surface where blue-green algae grow with small pieces of wood, gravel stones, rubble, sand, etc. The trouble caused by tiny black mosquitoes should be minimized if we can maintain good personal protection and improve environmental management.