Act now to limit tiger mosquitoes at French home this summer

The insects are now in all regions of France

Tiger mosquitoes first came to France in around 2004
Published Last updated

France’s tiger mosquito population is set to increase once again this summer, with the insects now present in every region of the country. 

These mosquitoes appear mostly between April and October, and are more aggressive than their native counterparts, as they often feed during the day. 

They can carry dangerous subtropical viruses including dengue fever and zika, with France now experiencing ‘native’ cases of the former (where people contract the illness without travelling to a country where it is present).

Read more: 1,347 cases of dengue fever registered in France

In preparation for the coming mosquito season, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the chance of tiger mosquitoes laying eggs in or around your property. 

Beware of stagnant water

The most important thing to do is to limit the amount of stagnant water on your property as this is where they lay their eggs. 

Mosquitoes do not usually travel further than 150 metres from the place of their birth, says the Agence Régionale de Santé (ARS) of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine department. 

This means that any mosquitoes biting you when you are at home likely originate from your own property, particularly in rural areas (although some may be transported to your home through vehicles, etc). 

Up to 80% of tiger mosquitoes in France are born on private property, with homeowners being key in the fight against the pests.

You do not need a pond or pool in your garden. “A bottle-cap of water is big enough for mosquitoes to lay eggs,” the ARS states. 

You should regularly clean and empty any areas where stagnant water can accumulate, particularly after rainfall. This should be done once a week, on average.

This includes obvious places such as vases, pots, barrels, jerry cans, and gutters, but also tyres, building equipment, and even children’s toys such as tricycles, usually left in gardens. 

Larger areas (water features, unused equipment, cisterns, swimming pools not in use) should be covered over with a cloth or veil to prevent rainwater from accumulating and mosquitoes landing on them.

Gravestones in public cemeteries should also be well-maintained as they collect stagnant water and there are plenty of visitors to feed on during summer for hatched mosquitoes there.

Instead of frequently cleaning places that may be tough to reach, you can add sand to flower pots and saucers. This allows the water to continue nourishing the plant but prevents mosquitoes from laying eggs. 

Check rainwater collectors 

The boom in rainwater collector installations – which help fight against drought – has brought with it another ideal breeding ground for the insects. 

Read more: What are the rules for collecting and using rainwater in France

Even when the rainwater collector lid is closer, mosquitoes can climb into tanks through the guttering pipe. Around half of all egg-laying sites found in Gironde in 2022 were related to rainwater collection tanks.

To prevent mosquitoes appearing, keeping the lid closed as much as possible, and installing a mosquito net around the gutter is recommended by the ARS. 

In some areas, such as Toulouse, local authorities are handing out free ‘trapping’ kits to control the population. 

Read more: Free traps against tiger mosquitoes distributed in south-west France

You can also purchase traps online, or directly through some mairies in the south-west at a reduced rate, which you can set around your property.