UPDATE 2017
Now known to be in residence along much of the Mediterranean coast, including the P-O, these mozzies are number one of the ‘hit list’ of actions being taken against problematic insects in our region.

Colonies so far have been noted in  Perpignan, Cerbère, Argelès, Port-Vendres and around the Village Catalan near  Villemolaque and Banyuls-dels-Aspres, although Jean-Baptiste Ferré, of the EID  (Emerging Infectious Diseases) says they could well spread further afield this summer.

This ‘chasse au moustique tigre’ consists of carefully monitoring and destroying the egg laying zones but the EID states that individuals must do their bit by monitoring their own property and destroying any eggs found.

Mosquito_Eggs

To find out where the risk of being ‘mozzied’ is the greatest, take a look at vigilance-moustiques.com which points out on a national map, the areas most at risk, along with loads of other useful info about the nasty little critturs. (IN FRENCH)

Looking forward to summer?

Tiger mosquito
Did you know that the Tiger mosquito, (moustique tigre) normally native to Southeast Asia, has worked its way up the coast  North Catalonia?

These unpleasant little devils are different from the common mozzie in that they fly and attack during the day as well as night, their bites can be more painful and cause more swelling than the common or garden mozzie, and their stinger is able to pierce clothing!

As with the common or garden mozzie, male mosquitos, as well as very young mosquitos, are vegetarian and eat plant matter. It is the female of the species which stings and drinks blood from humans, animals and birds.

Tiger mosquito

Whilst their bite is not particularly irritating to most people, they are persistent biters but also carriers of some rather unpleasant maladies including West Nile and Yellow fever virus, St. Louis encephalitis, dengue and Chikungunya fever.

Most importantly, don’t panic. Most Tiger mozzies don’t carry disease, (they must already have bitten a diseased victim from an affected area) but they are nevertheless  a significant pest.

Prevention and Control

A few tips to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes:

☹ Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. Bear in mind though that Tiger mozzies are also active during the day!

☹ Be sure door and window screens fit tightly and are in good repair.

☹ Wear shoes, socks, long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, where possible of light colour and tightly woven materials. Remember that the Tiger mozzie can still pierce clothing.

☹ Apply insect repellent, the more DEET the better. Apply to clothes when possible, and sparingly to exposed skin.

☹ Insect light traps (“bug zappers”) do very little to help –  do not rely on them!

☹ Get rid of breeding places in your garden by removing  water-filled containers like old tyres,  pots and buckets, check bird baths, pet water dishes and paddling pools by emptying them at least once a week.

☹ Surround yourself with flatworms, swimming beetles and spiders which are their natural enemies!

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