Asian Tiger Mosquito prevalent in Costa Blanca

THE Asian tiger mosquito has recently been detected in Benicassim – and previously in Orihuela and Torrevieja – by the Spanish Society of Entomology. The black and white stripped mosquito is capable of transmitting diseases including Chikungunya, yellow and dengue fevers, and the West Nile virus.

This insect can also transmit a parasitic round worm that causes heartworm in dogs and cats. This species is particularly aggressive, feeds during the day and is not restricted to swamp areas.

It is about five millimeters and its bite causes severe pain and swelling and in some cases allergic reactions.

It was first detected in Spain in 2004, specifically around the Mediterranean coast from Catalonia were it has now spread to different parts of the Region.

It is believed that the mosquito arrived in Spain through tourism travel.

They are very difficult to control, but as they are weak fliers their nests are usually close to were people are being bitten.

Control measures include destroying their nest sites, which can include any standing pools of water that cannot be drained, with a bacterium (Bti) that produces toxins which effectively kill mosquito larvae while having nearly no effect on other organisms.

By Nicole Hallett

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