Tiger mosquitoes: 5 essential information to better protect yourself
We recognize Aedes albopictus its small size and its black and white stripes. Now present in more than half of the French departments, he worries the health authorities. And for good reason: this mosquito that proliferates in different regions, is able to transmit dangerous diseases such as dengue, zika or chikungunya. According to the latest vigilance reports, this insect would have "permanently settled" in 51 departments, against "only" 42 a year earlier. The tiger mosquito has recently been invited and settled in the Paris region, an area hitherto preserved from their arrival, and in the South West, the Puy-de-Dôme and the Loire. Cases of dengue and chikungunya had already been reported in the Alpes-Maritimes and Var. Our advice to react.
Tiger mosquitoes bite during the day
Stop the received ideas! If the culex (the most common mosquitoes) prefer to wait until nightfall to look for prey, this is not the case of tiger mosquitoes, which they bite the day. " Depending on where you are, you can be exposed to mosquito bites at any time of the day, " explains Stéphane Robert, president of Vigilance Mosquitos. Hence the interest of adapting its protection.
Like all mosquitoes, they are more attracted to certain people
" Mosquitoes have a highly developed olfactory system. They are attracted by certain smells, others repel them. But we know that they are baited by CO2 emissions "Says the specialist. And in this respect, we are not all equal. If genetics seem to play a key role, other factors come into play to explain why an individual attracts more mosquitoes than his neighbor at a given time: food, alcohol consumption, physical activity or how to breathe ... all these parameters affect our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and transpiration, and can favor stings.
Chikungunya, dengue, zika ... They are able to transmit us these diseases
Common mosquitoes do not have the ability to transmit these diseases. They, yes. And if the main foci of these viruses are located far from our territory, the proliferation of intercontinental travel and the massive arrival of tiger mosquitoes throughout metropolitan France further increases the risk of transmission: " When one of these mosquitoes stings a person who returns from an infested area where he has contracted one of these viruses, he becomes a carrier and can potentially transmit it to another individual ", Explains Stéphane Robert. A few dozen indigenous cases of dengue or chikungunya have been recorded in recent years.
Everyone can take action to eradicate this pest
To significantly reduce the presence of mosquitoes, we can all help: " Getting rid of stagnant water sources is the first thing to do, even when it comes to very small quantities. Females need very little water to lay their eggs ". A little water in the bottom of a watering can or in a cup are enough for them to deposit hundreds of eggs.
But to inform the competent authorities, it is mostly used to learn about its progress and is reported on approved sites such as Vigilance Mosquitoes or via the app i- mosquitoes. This allows communities to take targeted action and initiate mosquito control campaigns.
Mosquitoes: we can still protect ourselves
To avoid the bites, one can also apply these measures valid for all the mosquitos:
First, it is better to wear light clothes. The colors all emit a certain wavelength, and mosquitoes seem to have a preference for dark colors. The light colors they like less, and they have the advantage of allowing us to better identify the unwanted. In order to protect oneself at best from bites, it is especially necessary to opt for loose and covering clothes: « 40% of bites are done through clothing. By wearing clothes close to the body, it facilitates the work of the mosquito that seeks to bite us "Recalls our expert.
Product side, it is better not to rely solely on lemongrass and essential oils if you are in an infested area ... these substances considered as natural repellents are unfortunately no longer effective enough 20 minutes after application. To protect ourselves effectively in risk areas, our expert recommends choosing skin lotions that contain active ingredients recognized by the WHO, such as icaridin, IR3535 or DEET.
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