We shall already protect ourselves against the Covid-19 epidemic, but now, you should also beware the Aedes albopictus, the famous tiger mosquito reportedly back in France. The vigilance-moustiques website updated the map of France showing the presence of these dangerous mosquitoes, department by department. The Île-de-France is highly impacted by this minuscule insect carrying many diseases.
And news is not good as the tiger mosquito is spreading across the country. This year, 6 new departments are on red alert, meaning the tiger mosquito is there and active. All in all, 58 departments in France are on red alert.
Tiger Mosquito: a "major health risk" for the upcoming years
According to an inquiry at the Assembly, tiger mosquitoes will be a "major health risk across the country" for the "next decades".
On July 28, the inquiry spokesperson and LREM Mayotte MP Ramlati Ali said: "It is an invasive species that did not exist in France before 2004. In 2019, 58 departments out of the 96 mainland departments were colonized".
"If for fifty years the mainland survived safe from the diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, this is no longer the case. We will have to learn to live with them, limitating their impact on French people's health as much as possible" she added.
To fight against tiger mosquito, the inquiry unveils 46 propositions. Their goal? "Recreating a prevention policy, [...] laying out an institutional framework" to curb the proliferation of tiger mosquitoes and even make means for research "viable".
Paris and almost all Île-de-France are on red alert
Paris and 6 other departments in Île-de-France are included in the alter: Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne Only Val d'Oise remains in orange vigilance; which means the tiger mosquito has been temporarily intercepted these past 5 years.
Last but not least, 29 departments are on yellow alert. Departments are subject to “an entomologic watch devoted to surveilling the tiger mosquito”.
For the record, the tiger mosquito can cause serious diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue and chikungunya. This Saturday June 20, 2020, the ANSES set up a website (https://signalement-moustique.anses.fr/) to report tiger mosquito and update the map as soon as possible.
How to recognize tiger mosquitoes?
If you fear being stung by a tiger mosquito, make sure you can recognize it. Vigilance-Moustiques says that the tiger mosquito is “smaller than a 1-cent coin (it is only a few millimeters long), it flies quite slowly and is easy to swat in flight”. It loos rather peculiar “since it is black with white stripes on the legs and the abdomen”.
How to protect ourselves from tiger mosquitoes?
Actions are being taken to wipe the insect out of the region. The ARS IDF says "470 traps have been set up in the region in the general environment and around some more sensitive sites that are hospitals, airports, and some other places highly frequented in the tourist season". Among them, there are Disneyland theme park in Seine-et-Marne, as well as the château de Vincennes in Val-de-Marne.
In order to protect ourselves from tiger mosquitoes, the Vigilance-Moustiques website reminds the importance of paying attention to “larval habitat” such as cups under flowerpots, watering cans, old tires, clogged gutters… A piece of advice then, avoid any standing water and think about discarding these small “water reservoirs” and do not forget to renew them at least once a week.
To avoid bites during a stroll, wear clothes to cover your body, including legs and arms, and of a rather clear color as many mosquito species are attracted by dark colors. At home, you can opt for those famous screens and make sure you air right to drive insects away.
You can also use cutaneous repellent recommended by the WHO such as those containing DEET and IR3535 or Icaridine. To hope to get definitively rid of the tiger mosquito you better signal it on the ANSES website so that authorities can take action on a big scale.