Tiger mosquito spreads across Netherlands, finds home in tyres

A female Asian tiger mosquito.

The Asian tiger mosquito has spread to all but the northernmost provinces of the Netherlands, the food standards agency NVWA has said.

Campaign group Stop Invasieve Exoten said the mosquitos were often found in used tyres, indicating motorists had unwittingly brought them back home from holidays in Southern Europe.

The mosquitos have also been detected at Schiphol airport, a flower auction in Katwijk and two companies in Zuid-Holland that sell “lucky bamboo” plants.

Altogether 35 municipalities have had to take measures to eliminate the insects, with only Groningen and Friesland recording no cases to date. In nine council areas they were found in stacks of used tyres, sometimes for as long as 10 years.

The black-and-white mosquitos can transmit viruses that cause diseases in humans, including dengue fever and the zika virus, which can damage the development of foetuses in the womb.

The NVWA said the species was not established in the Netherlands and the risk of developing illnesses as a result of a mosquito bite was small, but Stop Invasieve Exoten said the agency needed to do more to make the public aware of the danger and take action against businesses where the mosquitos were found.

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