An aggressive, day-time biting mosquito which can transmit some 20 viruses and parasites, has made its home in the Netherlands, according to the European centre for infectious diseases.
The tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is a native of south east Asia and is thought to have arrived in the Netherlands via bamboo plant imports and on car tyres.
Dengue fever, yellow fever and encephalitis are among the diseases it spreads.
The ECDC said the mosquito has established itself to the north and south of Amsterdam and in the Westland area near Rotterdam. It has also been spotted in Utrecht, parts of Noord-Brabant and central Limburg but no breeding colonies have yet been identified.
ECDC spokesman Wilfried Reinhold told RTL news that health minister Edith Schippers continually said it is not necessary to demand imports from China are free of tiger mosquitos and that spot checks are sufficient.
‘That approach has failed,’ he said.