A tiger mosquito has been spotted on an industrial estate in Weert in Limburg for the first time this summer, prompting action by food and consumer product safety body NVWA.
The NVWA will be removing all breeding places in a radius of 500 metres around the site from Monday, as well as using pesticides to combat the distinctive black-and-white mosquito, local broadcaster Limburg1 reported. It is the second time the animal has been found in Weert.
Tiger mosquitos, which are native to Southeast Asia, were first sighted in the Netherlands in 2005 and have been making regular appearances across the country ever since.
They can transmit the west nile virus, dengue fever, and the zika virus and while not deadly in themselves, these viruses can seriously affect people with a compromised immune system. No infections have been reported in the Netherlands as yet.
It is thought the mosquitos travel to this country on international haulage lorries carrying, for instance, car tires and bamboo plants.
The NVWA is expected to take extensive action in Weert as it did earlier in Sittard and also in Limburg, the broadcaster said. When the tiger mosquito was spotted there in 2022, inspectors checked thousands of gardens for larvae.
“Combating the mosquito runs into thousands of man hours but we must do it to prevent it from breeding and acting like a postman delivering disease,” NVWA official Arjan Stroo said at the time.
The NVWA is calling on people to help combat the tiger mosquito by emptying small water-filled containers like flower pots or bird baths regularly to prevent the mosquitos from breeding, and to report any sightings.