Deadly Asian Tiger Mosquito A Concern In Heatwave
Learn how to identify and eradicate this deadly type of mosquito which has already invaded almost half of France.
The warm weather has finally arrived, and while Essex locals bask in their gardens and parks, few are unaware that this mini-heatwave has created the perfect conditions for mosquitos to breed. A period of particularly wet weather has created plenty of stagnant water, which mosquitos thrive in. This coupled with the sudden increase in temperature has allowed them to come out of hibernation and to take hold throughout the country. However, one type of the species known as the Asian Tiger mosquito is of particular concern.
Transmitter Of Harmful Diseases
The Asian Tiger is a known carrier of diseases such as dengue fever, the West Nile virus, Zika and Chikungunya. In fact, the insect has already invaded France with 42 of the country’s 96 départements affected. The numbers of the mosquito as well as the regions it has hit have doubled in the last two years, demonstrating how quickly this troublesome species can spread. France has had a number of reports of Chikungunya on the French Riviera as well as dengue fever in Southern France which have been put down to the Asian Tiger mosquito.
Symptoms of these illnesses include a high fever, severe joint pain, runny eyes and a rash. Zika is particularly dangerous to pregnant women as it is possible for the infection to pass to the unborn foetus causing brain defects such as microcephaly.
Protecting Essex From The Asian Tiger Mosquito
Naturally, the details of this particular insect attacking our European neighbours are concerning, but The British Pest Control Association believes that the public are the key to keeping this issue under control. It is important that Essex residents are kept well informed about the situation and can identify the mosquito if we see it, to be able to take immediate measures to eradicate the pest.
The Asian Tiger mosquito is so-named because of its distinctive white stripe which runs from the centre of its head down to the back. To dissuade it from setting up residence near your home, it’s essential that you take steps to remove any standing water. This means clearing out your gutters, turning your wheelbarrow upside down or storing it in a shed or garage, regularly cleaning out your water butt and being vigilant about any other areas that collect water, such as empty plant pots or birdbaths.
Calling In The Professionals
If you do identify the Asian Tiger mosquito, it’s essential that you call Essex pest controllers immediately to safely treat the problem. Public Health England (PHE) works closely with pest controllers to ensure that any signs of this particular insect are dealt with quickly and responsibly. Just last year, larvae and eggs known to belong to the Asian Tiger were found and destroyed as part of the PHE’s mosquito surveillance programme. It was thought that they had been introduced to the UK from a vehicle that had driven over from France. As adult mosquitoes are only able to fly a few metres, pest controllers treated a 300-metre radius which is considered sufficient.
If you take the necessary precautions to remove standing water, then there’s really no need to be overly concerned about the threat of the Asian Tiger mosquito at this stage. Keep an eye on the news in case the situation becomes more advanced, but for now make the most of the good weather!