It’s aggressive and also stings during the day: the Asian tiger mosquito appears to feel right at home in Basel.
The Asian tiger mosquito worries authorities in Basel. Despite defensive measures already introduced, mosquito species are spreading in the city and the Basel conglomerate.
Animals can be very annoying to people, says Ann Christine Honen, Biosafety Inspector at the Cantonal Basel-Basel Laboratory, “There are areas in Basel where people tell us they don’t want to sit outside during the main flight time in July and August.” It is usual to be bitten by a tiger mosquito, especially during the day. The tiger mosquito has already spread in the regions of St. Johann, on the border with France, and in Kleinhuingen, on the border with Germany.
Mosquito trap assessments and observations showed that the affected area increased dramatically from 97 to 173 hectares between 2019 and 2020. Meanwhile, a group of tiger mosquitoes also settled in the canton of Baseland, specifically in Pearsfelden.
The reason Aedes albopictus feels at home in the Basel region is the climate: “Very cold winters and warm summers are not ideal for mosquitoes to breed,” explains Honen.
Not very cold winters and warm summers are perfect.
Not only is the tiger mosquito known for its aggressive behavior, but it can also transmit diseases such as the dengue virus. Such a transfer has yet to be determined in Switzerland. But as the population spreads and the mosquito population increases, the risk increases.
The authorities want to prevent this and the residents must also help energetically in the fight. For example, by eliminating mosquito breeding areas. Water accumulations in irrigation cans, rain barrels, or plant pots are common. Authorities have particularly focused the campaign on theme parks, as there are many breeding grounds. Here, the Canton Lab, in cooperation with the municipality’s horticulture department, informs and supports tenants in avoiding the breeding grounds.
In areas where the tiger mosquito is already common and where breeding areas cannot be removed, standing water is treated with so-called biocides. With the natural bacteria present in it, the larvae are killed.
According to experts, the Asian tiger mosquito was brought to Switzerland as a stowaway by truck or car. The first samples were discovered in the Basel region near customs facilities on the highway near Weil am Rhein (D) and St.
The trucks stay there for a long time for customs clearance, which is an ideal time to get out of the truck from the truck. “Trucks, cars in general, are perfect for mosquitoes, because the mosquito meal is already created with the driver,” explains Hunin.
Authorities are using traps and reports from residents to monitor the spread of the tiger mosquito in the Basel region. However, exposed areas such as border crossings are difficult to fight. According to Hunen, the goal here is to reduce spread and keep population density low.
“In a residential area like Newbad, we have a better chance of success. Through our early intervention and active assistance to the population, we can drastically reduce the spread of disease and, at best, even prevent it.”
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