An anti-mosquito campaign has begun in a south of France seaside town after strong rain followed by warm temperatures caused the area to become infested with the insects.
The mayor of Le Grau-du-Roi (Gard, Occitanie), Robert Crauste, acknowledged the problem in a post on Facebook and said that a new anti-insect campaign would begin at 05:30 on July 11.
Thousands of tourists have reported being “devoured” by the insects, and even being forced to remain indoors as a result. Some have said they are cutting their holiday short because of the issue.
One holidaymaker wrote on Facebook: “Avoid Le Grau-du-Roi. It’s hell with mosquitoes wherever you go. We left after just three days.” Another said: “Arm yourselves with anti-mosquito products. I’ve been here for two days and it’s horrifying.”
The anti-mosquito group the EID (Entente interdépartementale de démoustication) has already carried out aerial spraying, but this has not been enough to solve the issue.
As a result, Mr Crauste asked for "an additional local treatment to be carried out as a matter of urgency".
Two teams from the EID will travel through the streets in a 4x4 vehicle with an anti-mosquito sprayer, sharing the area to ensure they cover both the northern and southern parts of the town.
Residents have been asked to close windows, cover or bring in children’s toys and laundry, ensure pets are indoors, cover fish enclosures, and to wash everything that could not be brought inside after the treatment.
It is hoped that it will begin working immediately.
The infestation is due to a combination of recent storms followed by hot weather, while the rough sea did not allow the rainwater to drain properly, causing mosquitoes to take hold quickly.
Tiger mosquitoes have also “benefited” from the conditions, said Mr Crauste.