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Tiger mosquitoes in France: How to cope in confinement

Advice has been issued in France to help residents in confinement cope with the imminent annual arrival of the tiger mosquito, including ways to reduce their number with simple, home-based actions.

The tiger mosquito (aedes albopictus) usually begins to emerge in late Spring with “de-mosquito” agency EID (Entente Interdépartementale de Démoustication) Méditerranée saying that the first signs can even begin in late March. The adult insects mostly become apparent - and start biting - around mid-May.

Although the risk is small in France, tiger mosquitoes can be carriers of dangerous illnesses such as dengue fever and chikungunya. Local cases of both these illnesses have been reported in France in recent years.

Read more: Chikungunya confirmed in French department of Tarn

Read more: Case of indigenous dengue in Var

Read more: Tiger mosquito alert as insect spreads across country

They are mainly found in the south, especially in the south-east, of the country, as well as Corsica - although they have also been confirmed in parts of Ile-de-France and other regions.

(Map: EID Méditerranée / Moustiquetigre.org )

Although the main tiger mosquito season is not particularly affected by whether the season has been warm or not, the growth of the larvae can be sped up by heat, and a sheltered location.

Now is therefore a good time to clean your outside areas, in a bid to remove larvae - including balconies, courtyard, terraces, patios or garden decking.

Entomologist (insect expert) Grégory L’Ambert told news source France 3: “If we remove the first generation, we eliminate, from the outset, the would-be grandparents of the mosquitoes that would otherwise come to annoy us in our gardens this summer. That is why we should act now.”

You can also eliminate larvae by emptying any areas of stagnant water around your garden or outside space, where they might have accumulated.

Residents are also advised to check, empty, cover, and/or clean:

  • Flowerpots and saucers, empty pots
  • Buckets and watering cans
  • Umbrella stands, plastic sheeting
  • Any toys in the garden
  • Garden furniture

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