On alert to combat the proliferation of the Tiger mosquito in Barcelona

On alert to combat the proliferation of the Tiger mosquito in Barcelona

The persistent drought affecting the city has led most citizens to store cold water in reservoirs as a precautionary measure. However, this seemingly harmless practice could be contributing to a much bigger problem: the proliferation of the tiger mosquito in Barcelona.

The tiger mosquito, scientifically known as Aedes albopictus, is an invasive species that breeds rapidly in standing water, even in small containers such as plant saucers.

Experts warn that, with the arrival of the heat and humidity of spring and summer, the tiger mosquito can become a real plague if adequate measures are not taken.

On the proliferation of the tiger mosquito in Barcelona

Irene Lobató, researcher at the Department of Arthropods of the Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona, explained that the tiger mosquito requires very little water to reproduce and is therefore a permanent threat to the population.

In addition, this mosquito is a carrier of several diseases, such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya, all of which are endemic in tropical climates but could spread in Barcelona due to rising temperatures.

Zika virus, in particular, represents a serious concern for pregnant women and their babies, as it can cause microcephaly and other birth defects in the fetus. On the other hand, dengue and chikungunya can cause severe symptoms in some cases, especially in children and the elderly.

Although drought has helped to reduce the tiger mosquito plague in Barcelona in recent years, prevention measures are still essential to avoid its proliferation.

Hermetically closing water containers and eliminating any accumulation of liquid in gardens, terraces and patios are simple but effective actions to reduce the risk of mosquito breeding.

Implementing surveillance and control programs

In addition, the Barcelona Public Health Agency (Aspb) has implemented urban pest surveillance and control programs to keep the mosquito population under control.

These programs include informative home inspections, with the objective of educating citizens about tiger mosquito prevention and control measures in their own homes.

It is essential for the community to get involved in the fight against the tiger mosquito, since approximately 70% of its activity is concentrated in private spaces such as gardens and terraces. Regularly checking these spaces and removing any objects that can accumulate stagnant water is essential to reduce mosquito breeding sites.

The tiger mosquito alert in Barcelona is a wake-up call to take preventive measures to combat the proliferation of this invasive species. The goal is to ensure a safer and healthier environment for all citizens.