Invasive Mosquito – Spain

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After reports of France, tiger mosquitoes have been populating Ibiza, Spain. The Asian tiger mosquitoes are dangerous because they are a known carrier of dengue fever, chikungunya and the Zika virus.

All tourism has been prohibited in Ibiza during the coronavirus outbreak, leaving the usual tourist hotspots deserted. The mosquitoes, which prefer moist air, have been attracted to the swimming pools left untended.

The department for environmental management in Ibiza’s council has warned residents to keep their pools purified, warning that not doing so could create a public health problem, as Ibiza is beginning to soften its lock-down.

Spain, one of the countries most heavily hit by the pandemic, will allow tourism to resume in July 2020.

Photo: Tiger mosquito with typical black and white stripes

The tiger mosquitoes are black and white striped, and the females deliver a painful bite which can cause tropical diseases. They have been expanding their territory as temperatures around the globe rise. Reported cases of dengue fever and chikungunya are thought to be spread by tiger mosquitoes. These insects are predicted to colonize the warmer areas of Europe by 2030. Mosquito repellents are not effective against these mosquitoes.

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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