Bloomberg News

Tiger Mosquito Find in Netherlands Prompts Eradication Measures

July 17, 2012

Dutch authorities will start an eradication campaign against the tiger mosquito after finding the insect, a native of Southeast Asia that can spread tropical diseases including dengue fever, in the southern Netherlands.

Seven tiger mosquitoes were found at a used-tire trading company in the village of Heijningen on July 5, the Dutch food- safety authority wrote in a statement on its website today. That follows an eradication effort against an exotic mosquito species in the same area two years ago, it said.

Tiger mosquitoes were found in Italy in 1990 and the insect is now the main pest mosquito in northern parts of the country, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The mosquito, whose Latin name is Aedes albopictus, is an epidemic vector for dengue viruses in parts of Asia, based on CDC data.

“The Asian tiger mosquito is unwelcome in the Netherlands because it can transmit infectious disease,” the authority wrote. “The tiger mosquito mainly stings during the day, and its bite can be painful.”

Authorities said they’ll spray Bayer AG (BAYN)’s Aqua-K-Othrine insecticide in a 200-meter (219-yard) radius around where the mosquitoes were found and remove suitable breeding spots or apply larvae-killing chemicals in a 500-meter radius.

Tiger mosquitoes breed in artificial pools with standing water, such as used tires, vases and sewer drains, the food- safety authority said. Larger water surfaces such as canals and lakes aren’t suitable breeding grounds, it said.

“The Asian tiger mosquito is mainly spread through international trade in used tires,” the authority wrote. “In this way the tiger mosquito has by now established itself in parts of southern Europe.”

The species was first found in the U.S. in Texas in 1985, and is now believed to be established in 26 states of the continental U.S., according to the CDC. .

The chance that the found mosquitoes are disease carriers is “extremely small,” and eradication is taking place to avoid permanent establishment of the insect in the Netherlands, according to the authorities.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net


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