The practical guide to the tiger mosquito in Strasbourg

The tiger mosquito can transmit diseases.
The tiger mosquito can transmit diseases. (©James Gathany/ Pixnio)

In Alsace, the tiger mosquito it is active from May/June to October/November.

How to recognize it, to what extent is it based in the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg, where is it and how to combat it? Here, summarized here, all the answers to your questions.

Since when is it established in the Lower Rhine?

In Bas-Rhin, the tiger mosquito was first detected in 2014 in Schiltigheim, then in 2015 in the Neudorf district of Strasbourg.

“Since then, it has spread to different districts of Strasbourg, [si bien que l’on compte aujourd’hui] about twenty municipalities considered to be colonized by the tiger mosquito within the Eurometropolis”, explains Christelle Bender, technical director of the Syndicat de Lutte contre les Mosquitoes du lower rhine.

What kind of places is it found?

The tiger mosquito is 100% urban. In other words, “we do not find it in the natural environment, for the simple and just reason that it likes the so-called artificial accommodations, that is, accommodations offered by man,” explains Christelle Bender.

These are “all containers that can hold water for more than a week”. One thinks, for example, of “rainwater collectors, watering cans, buckets or cups”.

How to recognize it?

About his placeThe National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES) gives several indications to recognize the tiger mosquito.

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“Unlike the common mosquito that usually bites at night and whose flight is noisy, the tiger mosquito is diurnal, that is, it bites more during the day (mainly in the morning and at night) and is silent,” says the organization.

It also specifies that the tiger mosquito is “small in size” – “smaller than a 1 euro cent coin” – and that it has “black and white stripes”. “It is also characterized by the presence of a white dorsal line along its thorax”, specifies ANSES.

How does it transmit diseases?

The tiger mosquito can be a vector of many viruses, such as those of dengueof Zika either chikungunya.

At the moment in Alsace there is no epidemic of these diseases. “These are tropical diseases, which are not naturally found in our country,” recalls Ms. Bender.

The tiger mosquito is a carrier. If you bite a person who has dengue, for example, you will potentially inhale the virus and this virus will end up in your digestive tract. After a few days, this virus has the ability to cross the intestinal barrier and migrate to the salivary glands. When a mosquito bites you, it will surely draw blood, but at the same time it will inject you with a little saliva. A few days after the bite, you can potentially transmit this virus to another person.

christelle benderTechnical manager of the Mosquito Control Union of the Lower Rhine

In Alsace, the chances of an epidemic breaking out are reduced.

How to reduce its presence?

To fight the tiger mosquito, we must act at the source.

“The female has two obsessions: the first is to bite, to find blood, blood that will be important for the development of the eggs,” recalls the specialist. “Once the eggs are ready to be laid, her second obsession will be finding standing water, artificial roosts,” she continues.

Therefore, it is necessary to “prevent him from having access to the accommodations”. “For the rainwater collectors, we close them hermetically, with a mosquito net and a tensioner for example”, illustrates Christelle Bender. As for the “small containers, we keep them from the rain”.

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