By Cathy Elelman • 10 July 2020 • 10:42
FACTORS: High temperatures, constant rains and unvisited holiday homes could be behind the increase in tiger mosquito numbers
CREDIT: CREAF Twitter @CREAF_ecologia
TIGER mosquitos are flourishing on Spain’s costas, more of the pesky insects buzzing around and biting this spring than for the last five years, according to notifications sent to citizen science app Mosquito Alert.
The number of tiger mosquitos registered on the app in the first half of 2020 was 70 per cent up on 2018, up until now the year with the most observations at the beginning of the season.
The year with the highest number of observations for a full season remains 2015.
The high temperatures and constant rains this spring created the ideal conditions for the mosquitos to reproduce, but lockdown could also have played a part in pushing up the numbers.
With people unable to move around the country under the state of alarm, holiday homes along the Mediterranean were left uncared for, and the critters could have found more spots to breed, like pots filled with stagnant water.
Mosquito Alerts Monitoring Service entomologist Roger Eritja reported that unmaintained second homes and what could be a high demand for inflatable swimming pools this year as people choose to holiday at home could be become focal points for tiger mosquito larvae this season.
He pointed out that the insects are now established not only on the Mediterranean coast, but also in parts of Extremadura, the Basque Country, Aragon and Madrid.
He recommends taking care to treat inflatable pool water and to empty rain water out of any recipients.
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Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.
Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.
Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.
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