Assen remains a hotspot for Asian tiger mosquitoes in the north of the Netherlands

Assen remains a hotspot for Asian tiger mosquitoes in the north of the Netherlands

The Dutch Food and Consumer Products Safety Authority (NVWA) has taken action against the Asian tiger mosquito in 27 locations this season. In the north of the Netherlands, Assen is the only place where so-called “aftertreatment” is carried out to kill the insect’s larvae and pupae.

The site in the provincial capital visited by NVWA is a known address for the Asian tiger mosquito. It’s a tire company where strange mosquitoes have been appearing for the past 11 years. In addition to the company, the immediate environment is also included in the follow-up treatment provided by NVWA. A total of 514 addresses are located within 500 meters of the company.

The Asian tiger mosquito can transmit more than two dozen viral diseases, including dengue and Zika, and is therefore under control. The insects were originally transported from Asia to the Netherlands in car tires and some bamboo plants. There are currently many tiger mosquitoes in the Mediterranean regions. They come to the Netherlands in cars, caravans and holiday camps.

Last year, there were reports of the Asian tiger mosquito at 37 locations in our country, double the number of the previous year. More than half of those sites (22) were residential areas. The 27 locations where tiger mosquitoes were eventually controlled this season is a record.

“Potential breeding sites are first checked for mosquito larvae. These larvae are collected and sent to the laboratory in Wageningen for identification. The water is then removed wherever possible. When this is not possible, the pest control unit uses a product that kills only mosquito larvae.” Mosquito traps will also be placed to continue monitoring the presence of tiger mosquitoes over the coming months.

Since control has almost been reached, NVWA is asking for help from citizens and municipalities. “We are doing a lot of outreach to citizens to create more awareness and vigilance in identifying tiger mosquitoes,” the spokesperson said. “Discussions are continuing with some municipalities about making additional efforts regarding monitoring and control.”

According to the NVWA, the exotic mosquitoes have not yet settled in the Netherlands, as the service carries out mosquito control immediately after each report. According to the authority, people can help themselves by not leaving bowls or containers with a layer of stagnant water on them, because they constitute an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. “The risk of developing a serious illness after a tiger mosquito bite is currently small in the Netherlands, but this may change if alien species become established here,” the NVWA said.

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