The tiger mosquito is spreading in the Netherlands. So far this year, there have been sightings in 12 places in the Netherlands, including four residential neighborhoods, and mosquito season is far from over. Last year there were eight sightings of the tiger mosquito, four in 2021 and two in 2020, NOS reports.
The tiger mosquito is smaller than the mosquitoes native to the Netherlands. It can be recognized by a white stripe on the back and white hind legs. The animal originates from Southeast Asia but has also established itself in southern European countries like Spain and France.
In countries where tiger mosquitoes are common, they can transmit infectious diseases like dengue fever to humans. The risk of that is still negligible in the Netherlands given how few of the animals are here, Arjan Stroo of the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) told NOS. To spread an infection, the mosquito must bite an infected person and then another person. A large number of mosquitoes can thus lead to an outbreak of a disease. “That’s why we don’t want the mosquito here, and we’re trying to eradicate it,” Stroo said.
The tiger mosquito has been sporadically appearing in the Netherlands since 2005. The NVWA believes they mostly enter the country in the vehicles of holidaymakers or in trucks’ cargo. The NVWA takes control measures for every find. In the neighborhoods where the animal has been spotted, residents receive a letter asking them to search for breeding grounds for mosquitoes and remove them. Tiger mosquitoes prefer sheltered spots with stagnant water, like buckets, flower pots, or rain barrels. If eggs are found, the NVWA removes or treats the breeding spots so that the eggs don’t survive.
The tiger mosquito will eventually settle in the Netherlands, but we can delay that time by taking measures, the NVWA said. It called on holidaymakers to thoroughly check their cars and caravans for mosquitoes before driving home.