Mosquitoes have been a scourge of human existence throughout the history of our species - not as a threat themselves, but as vectors for a wide variety of illnesses. The Asian Tiger Mosquito's historic habitat is tropical and subtropical Asia, however since its first introduction to the U.S. through Texas, it has spread rapidly through the country. In recent years it has been seen in southern New England, and in the spring of 2011, it showed up in southern Massachusetts three months earlier than it ever had before.
As with all mosquito species, the Asian Tiger Mosquito can transmit a wide number of pathogens, including Chikigunya, a debilitating virus that gives a high fever and joint pain reminiscent of severe arthritis. No cases of new mosquito-born pathogens have been reported in New England, but the arrival of tropical mosquito species in new regions raises the odds of the diseases they can carry showing up in those regions.