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Watch Out for the Asian Tiger Mosquito in Poitou-Charentes

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Watch Out for the Asian Tiger Mosquito in Poitou-Charentes

The entire Atlantic coast is now part of the Asian tiger mosquito surveillance programme since it was detected in the Gironde and Lot-et-Garonne last year. The Vienne remains in the programme since it was detected in the département in 1999.

If you see one of these, squash it, then tell the EID!

The Asian tiger mosquito has spread from its native south-east Asia over recent decades. It is particularly invasive, easily out-competes its competitors, and readily spreads diseases like Yellow, dengue and Chikungunya fever in humans.

Its distinctive black and white striped legs and thorax give it its name. It is not to be confused with the common European banded mosquito, which doesn’t occur in such high densities, is considerably larger and is not black and white but beige and grey striped.

As with all other blood-sucking species, only the female tiger mosquito bites – to provide a blood meal for her eggs. However, they are unusual in that they specifically seek humans to bite. They are both persistent and cautious, which means they often don’t get the full two microlitres necessary for their eggs from a single bite. So they will multiple bite and also bite other mammals making it easier for viruses like West Nile fever to jump species.

Every department on the Atlantic coast is now taking part in active surveillance for the Etablissement interdépartmental pour la demoustication du littoral Atlantique (EID) since its spread into the Gironde and Lot-et-Garonne last year. Vienne remains in the programme because it was one of the two departments to first detect the insect inside a delivery of used tyres from Asia in 1999. Since then around 25 departments have found the mosquito, mainly in the south east, but also in Normandy and now Aquitaine. The species is active and established in six departments in the south east and the two on Corsica, and in two departments there have been cases of dengue and Chikungunya fever.

France is just one of 17 European countries where the tiger mosquito has turned up. Two were even spotted in the UK.

If you find an example, kill it and send the photos to [email protected] or via the post to:

EID Atlantique
Direction Scientifique et Technique – Mission de Veille Sanitaire
1, rue Toufaire
17300 Rochefort

Enclose details of where you found it and if you are including the mosquito itself, stick it to a piece of paper with some clear tape, remembering to include your details.

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