Check cars and caravans for tiger mosquitoes, holidaymakers told

A female Asian tiger mosquito.

The tiger mosquito is gaining ground in the Netherlands and has now been spotted in twelve places, compared to two in 2020.

The mosquito, first seen in the Netherlands in 2005, carries diseases such as West Nile virus, dengue fever, and the Zika virus. Its spread is therefore monitored by product safety board NVWA.

Tiger mosquitos, which originally come from southeast Asia, have already made their home in southern European countries such as Spain and France. It makes its way here in international haulage lorries and holidaymakers’ cars and caravans.

However, the chance that people here will get dengue fever, for example, is negligible, based on the current number of tiger mosquitos, NVWA spokesman Arjan Stroo told broadcaster NOS.

“A mosquito would first have to sting a person who carries the virus and then sting someone else. That is not likely to happen at the moment. But greater numbers of tiger mosquitos could lead to an outbreak.”

The RIVM is asking people who have spotted the tiger mosquito, which is smaller than a normal mosquito and has a distinctive white stripe on its back and hind legs, to get rid of anything that might be used as breeding places, such as containers with standing water.

It will not be possible to eradicate the tiger mosquito completely, the NVWA said, and it is only a matter of time before it settles here permanently.

Holidaymakers are being advised to check their cars and caravans for tiger mosquitos before heading home and empty any flowerpots or watering cans that may contain eggs.

The NVWA is asking people to be vigilant until October, when the mosquito season comes to an end.

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