The tiger mosquito is an invasive mosquito species, recognizable by its small size (about 5 mm) and its black and white stripes on the body. In some cases, it can be a vector of diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya or Zika. Installed for many years in essentially tropical regions, in particular the islands of Reunion and Mayotte, it has been present in mainland France since 2004 where it extends its territory each year.
67 departments affected
Currently, the species is established and active in sixty-seven departments according to the Ministry of Solidarity and Health. If the departments of Mayenne, Loire-Atlantique, Vendée and Maine-et-Loire are placed on red alert, they remain weakly colonized by the tiger mosquito. Conversely, fourteen departments are strongly affected, among them Corse-du-Sud, Haute-Corse, Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Gard, Hérault, Lot-et-Garonne , the Pyrénées-Orientales, Paris, the Rhône, the Tarn-et-Garonne, the Var, the Vaucluse and the Hauts-de-Seine.
With the arrival of high temperatures, the establishment of the mosquito is likely to accelerate in the departments where it is not yet present. According to Stéphane Robert, president of the Vigilance moustiques site, the hotter it is, the shorter the development cycle of the tiger mosquito, from egg to adult. In doing so, “a heat wave immediately leads to a phenomenon of multiplication and proliferation”, he explained this Thursday, May 12 on Europe 1.
How to limit its proliferation?
To fight against this proliferation and help prevent the introduction of viruses into mainland France, the health authorities recommend removing stagnant water allowing the mosquito to develop (saucers under plant pots, children’s toys, ashtrays, etc.) and keeping a clean environment (clean the gutters, cover the garbage cans, etc.).
In order to avoid bites, it is advisable, especially in the most affected regions, to equip the doors and windows with mosquito nets and to activate the air conditioning. Outside, it may be useful to wear loose, covering clothing and to use a skin repellent, under the advice of a pharmacist.
In case of joint pain, muscle pain, headache, rash with or without fever, conjunctivitis, it is necessary to consult a doctor.