How to protect yourself – symptoms and treatment

Considered a flying security risk: the Asian tiger mosquito can transmit dangerous viruses. It is now also available in Germany. How to identify and combat mosquitoes and how to treat bites.

The Asian tiger mosquito (Stegomyia albopicta / Aedes albopictus) is especially comfortable in very mild and humid climates. The vampire is recognizable by the stunning black and white pattern.

tiger mosquitoes in germany

There are about 50 species of mosquitoes in Germany – including the Asian tiger mosquito. The animals, already widespread in Italy, came to Germany in recent years by traveling long distances. The warmth-loving tiger mosquito was first discovered at the end of September 2007 in a rest area on Highway 5 near Weil am Rhein (Baden-Württemberg).

Photo series with 10 photos

There is evidence of mosquitoes in Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Freiburg and others. It can also occur along the highways Hockenheim-Koblenz (A61) and Saarbrücken-Mannheim (A6). Tiger mosquitoes have already wintered in three federal states: Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Thuringia.

Symptoms: swelling and itching

Mosquito bite: If you have severe reactions to a tiger mosquito bite, see a doctor. (Source: Gottfried Czepluch / imago photos)

Tiger mosquito bites in principle are no worse or more painful than domestic mosquitoes. After the bite, the skin itches and there is redness and swelling at the puncture site.

See a doctor if the sting is very large and hot to the touch. This could indicate a serious allergic reaction or infection.

Photo series with 10 photos

Treat a tiger mosquito bite

mosquito bites – Regardless of the type – they can generally become infected by scratching. Therefore, a tiger mosquito bite should be treated as follows:

  1. Do not rub. Because by it you open the door to germs and risk infections.
  2. Short heat treatment can provide relief. First, apply a hot towel to the stitches or use a stitch handler.
  3. Then cool the stitch. Cold water or even your saliva is the first aid measure. You can relieve swelling and pain with ice cubes or cooling pads, as well as cooling ointments and gels. Onions or lemons can also help. Simply apply the juice to the wound.
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The tiger mosquito can transmit these diseases

A tiger mosquito bite can be dangerous if the mosquito is infected with pathogens. This is because mosquitoes, which come from the tropics, can transmit more than 20 types of viruses.

This includes dengue fever – a disease that can be fatal for people in poor health. So far, there are no medicines or vaccinations against it. In 2016, more than 950 cases of dengue were reported to the Robert Koch Institute, more than ever before. However, those infected abroad have so far been infected.

Vaccination certificate with yellow fever vaccination: protects the traveler for life.  (Source: imago / Papsch)Vaccination certificate with yellow fever vaccination: protects the traveler for life. (Source: imago / Papsch)

Other diseases that can be transmitted by the tiger mosquito include:

  • Chikungunyafieber
  • yellow fever
  • West Nile fever
  • Zika diseases

Symptoms of the listed diseases are similar to a flu-like infection. This can lead to overheating as well as headaches, body aches or fatigue vomiting Come.

Protection against tiger mosquitoes

Asian tiger mosquito: Mosquito larvae hatch more in summer and fall.  However, if you take precautionary measures, you can prevent egg laying.  (Source: Getty Images / Noppharat05081977)Asian tiger mosquito: Mosquito larvae hatch more in summer and fall. However, if you take precautionary measures, you can prevent egg laying. (Source: Noppharat05081977 / Getty Images)

You can take measures against mosquito breeding in your garden and thus prevent the tiger mosquito from spreading. Please note:

  • Give mosquito Their larvae should be dumped into shallow and stagnant waters, ponds, watering cans, bird baths and cleaned regularly – at least once a week. Cleaning is important because eggs can live for a while even in dry conditions.
  • Check the rain barrel and close it tightly. Tiger mosquitoes exploit even the smallest of holes.
  • Check rain gutters and drainage systems regularly.
  • Avoid water retention. Plant stands or vessels where water can collect should be filled with gravel. If this is not possible, then appropriate vessels made of copper should be used, since this material kills the larvae.
  • Protect your interiors by installing fly screens and mosquito nets in front of windows and doors. Since the tiger mosquito is active during the day, care must be taken to ensure protection, especially in the balcony and entrance doors.
  • In case of severe infection, electric traps can be used. This will reduce the number of mosquitoes.
  • Set traps to lay eggs against mosquitoes. Mesh or adhesive films impregnated with pyrethroids are particularly suitable for this purpose.
  • Do not use pesticides unintentionally. On the one hand, these can be ineffective against the Asian tiger mosquito, and on the other hand they can be harmful to the environment and your health.
  • The larvae in the garden pond can be scraped with a landing net. They will also be eaten by frogs, goldfish, or koi fish.
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Mr. Dr. Heinz Mehlhorn of the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf recommends t-online.de readers to use Bacillus thuringiensis. “This method is lethal to biting insects. Bacillus thuringiensis, for example, is used in southern Germany to contain mosquitoes in natural waters,” he explains in an interview.

This is how science fights tiger mosquitoes

Asian tiger mosquito: It can be recognized by its black and white striped appearance.  (Source: Getty Images / RasikaSekhara)Asian tiger mosquito: It can be recognized by its black and white striped appearance. (Source: RasikaSekhara / Getty Images)

In the fight against the Asian tiger mosquito in Germany, scientists are testing the use of sterilized males. If females mate with these males, they will not have viable offspring. Females are pregnant but have a stillbirth. Male virgins, which are smaller than females, are sieved with a net and sterilized with gamma rays.

Sterilized animals can then compete with wild males, but their sperm is 99 percent damaged. In the summer of 2016, some sterile males were released in Germany. In that time it was found that the hatching rate had decreased by 15%. This method can be used to target a single species. It is better than the previous control using the biological agent Bacillus thuringensis israelensis (Bti).

Don’t confuse tiger mosquito with bush mosquito

Asian bush mosquitoes: They can also tolerate cold climates and have already colonized areas in Germany.  (Source: Getty Images / doug4537)Asian bush mosquitoes: They can also tolerate cold climates and have already colonized areas in Germany. (Source: doug4537 / Getty Images)

The Asian tiger mosquito can easily be confused with the Asian bush mosquito (Aedes japonica). It can also transmit tropical diseases. Unlike the tiger mosquito, the bush mosquito is dark to brown-black in color and has light horizontal or silvery white stripes on the body and legs.

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If you want to know what type of mosquito you have, you can get an overview at www.mueckenatlas.de. The portal provides information about the distribution of native mosquito species and any exotic species that have “migrated” to Germany.

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