The Asian tiger mosquito (Guest Post)

Teaser image showing an asian tiger mosquito Actually, we planned to publish an article about the disadvantages of leaf blowers and write about the deadly dangers for small animals, such as bees, butterflies and many other insects. However, during our research, we quickly became aware of the tiger mosquito and the treat it demonstrably poses for us humans. As we think this a very critical topic, which is discussed far too less in public, we decided to publish a guest post about the tiger mosquito at this point of time.

Asian tiger mosquito in Germany

Mosquitoes are annoying. Some can also be dangerous: In 2007, the Asian tiger mosquito firstly appeared in Germany at a resting place near Weil am Rhein, a place which is located at the German-Swiss border. The tropical insect can transmit a variety of dangerous viruses. Therefore humans should avoid contact. However, especially in closed rooms (e.g. living room) or at work, you can protect yourself with insect repellent (Insektenschutz).

Again and again, warnings of new animals and plants in Central Europe are dismissed as a scare tactic and as part of natural change. Why species come and others disappear is not from big interest. However, what is from big interest is to avoid possible risks to our health and the health of our loved ones, our family and our guests. In Scandinavia for example, most houses are therefore equipped with insect screens as standard.

The Asian tiger mosquito is considered to be a particular risk: In Southeastern Europe and throughout the entire Mediterranean region, several people have been infected with the Dengue and Chikungunya virus via the Asian tiger mosquito during the past years. Some people died, others are suffering from permanent health damages.

„It is verified, that this species can transmit far more than 20 pathogenes, espcially from tropical regions, including the Dengue, West Nile and Yellow Fiver virus as well as the infamous Zika virus“, says Helge Kampen, infection biologist at Friedrich-Loeffler -Institut, the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health in Germany.

Asian tiger mosquito spotted in Bavaria

Meanwhile, the tiger mosquito is widespread, even in Bavaria, the largest region in Southern Germany. In 2016, tiger mosquitoes were seen and collected in the districts of Erding as well as around Rosenheim and Freilassing. However, the tiger mosquito apparently does not only spread in Bavaria, but nowadays can be found throughout entire Germany.

Recently, virus researchers from the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine made a disturbing discovery: The tropical Chikungunya virus can multiply very well even at average temperatures of 18 degrees, as the team could show. After two weeks in the cold chamber, infectious viruses could be proven for more than 50% of tiger mosquitos.

How important it is to combat the spread of the tiger mosquito is demonstrated with the help of negative examples from Italy and France: Since 2007, authorities have repeatedly reported diseases of Chikungunya virus. Chikungunya fever can occasionally lead to permanent damage or death.

Insect repellent / Insektenschutz stands for quality of life and health prevention. This is a guest post by Green Tara UG Insect Repellent Systems.