Invasive Mosquito – France

After sightings of murder hornets in the US, tiger mosquitoes have been taking over France. The Asian tiger mosquitoes are dangerous because they are a known carrier of dengue fever, chikungunya and the Zika virus. Just as France emerges from its lock-down, almost 65% of the region has been put on alert because of these tiger mosquitoes.

Out of 101 departments, 57 of them have a red warning for these insects. The tiger mosquitoes are black and white striped, and the females deliver a painful bite which can cause tropical diseases. These insects were first spotted in France in 2014. Since then, they have been expanding their territory as temperatures around the globe rise. Reported cases of dengue fever and chikungunya are thought to be spread in France by tiger mosquitoes. These insects are predicted to colonize in France by 2030. Mosquito repellents are not effective against these mosquitoes.

Photo: Tiger mosquito with typical black and white stripes

The species are a threat because they can transmit numerous diseases like Zika virus, and dengue fever virus. It is also a primary vector for chikungunya virus.

The Asian tiger mosquito was responsible for the chikungunya epidemic on the French Island La Reunion in 2005-2006. It was the 1st and only outbreak of chikungunya fever on the European continent.

These mosquitoes are difficult to suppress because they have the ability to adapt to different environments. Control begins with destroying places where they might be laying eggs, like puddles, gutters, litter, flower pots, vases, anything that holds standing water.

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