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Atten­tion, tiger mosqui­toes on the way!

So, have you already had a visit from the “tiger mosquito police” this year? In our town of Heidel­berg, friendly emis­s­a­ries from the city regu­larly show up at the door asking about puddles and pools in the garden. The idea is to find the bree­ding grounds of larvae of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albo­pictus) — because the bite of the tiger mosquito is not only unplea­sant, but can also bring dange­rous infec­tious diseases.

The Asian tiger mosquito origi­nally comes from Southeast Asia, and in Germany it feels parti­cu­larly at home in Bavaria and Baden-Würt­tem­berg. The small, unfort­u­na­tely very stinging pests transmit about 20 patho­gens, inclu­ding tropical dise­ases such as dengue or chikun­gunya fever. So far, there have been no known cases of trans­mis­sion of these dise­ases in Germany, but as tempe­ra­tures rise, they are beco­ming more and more likely.

How can we combat the striped bloodsuckers?

Contai­ners such as rain barrels, trivets or wate­ring cans can easily be rendered useless as bree­ding grounds by cove­ring them or emptying them regu­larly. A profes­sional control measure is to apply a biolo­gical protein agent (BTI) to the bree­ding waters, which kills mosquito larvae but does not harm all other animals and plants or humans.

Once tiger mosqui­toes are on the move, the risk of biting can be reduced through a variety of measures: Fly screens prevent them from ente­ring the house, and the smell of sweat, which attracts the insects, can be coun­ter­acted by regular showers. In addi­tion, it helps to avoid strongly scented shower gels, perfumes, or cosme­tics. Body cove­ring with clot­hing also makes it harder for mosqui­toes to bite. Light-colored fabrics are better, as mosqui­toes are more likely to fly onto dark clothing.

Infor­ma­tion on the tiger mosquito from the Baden-Würt­tem­berg Health Department: