We originally posted this article in June 2016 and due the its popularity we decided to repost it this year as a reminder to people about the Tiger Mosquito on the Costa del Sol.
Remember the Tiger mosquito season normally lasts from May until Sept / Oct in Spain but the peak month is July.
Read on for Preventative measures to help keep the Tiger Mosquito at Bay.
There are also lots of useful comments from people at the bottom of the post that could be of interest…..
We hope this information is helpful and please feel free to add your comments at the bottom of the page.
The tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) which is native to Southeast Asia can now be found on the Costa del Sol in Andalucia, Spain.
It has spread throughout the Mediterranean gradually and there are now established populations in France, Italy and Greece as well as Spain.
The tiger mosquito is considered to be one of the 100 most damaging invading species in the world according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). It can carry more than 20 exotic diseases, but even though the mosquito has the capacity to carry these diseases in order for them to do so, these diseases must be present in a mosquito carrying them in Spain.
The tiger mosquito is strikingly different from other mosquitos due to its very noticeable black and white striped markings, the body of the mosquito is 2 to 10mm long depending on breeding condition and food available.
The tiger mosquito season normally lasts from May until Sept / Oct in Spain but the peak month is July. The mosquito feeds during the day (especially between the hours 6am and 10am and 4pm and 10pm) males on nectar and plant juices but the females fed on blood, which they require in order to develop their eggs.
Water is an essential element of the larval development process and since they have a short flight range of only 200 meter this means they are normally found near to water. They love stagnant water, old dirty swimming pools which have turned green, discarded water bottles, animal water bowls etc. etc.
According to specialists it is “almost impossible” to eradicate the mosquito but the population can be held in check.
Campaigns are being undertaken by Spanish municipal councils to try to control localised populations. The Junta de Andalucia has created a flyer regarding the Tiger Mosquito, please CLICK HERE to see the flyer with the information in Spanish.
Information from the flyer supplied in English.
The tiger mosquito is native to Southeast Asia. It is preferably a daytime insect and bites more often at dusk and dawn than at night. It flies close to the ground and normally bites legs and ankles. Conventional repellents are effective against the tiger mosquito.
If you are bitten and the pain persists apply ice and if you notice a fever visit a doctor.
The tiger mosquito goes through four stages in its life cycle. The duration of these depends on the temperatures and can range between 7 and 10 days.
1. Egg Stage
Females need water to lay eggs, they bite because they need blood for the eggs to ripen.
2. Larva Stage
They grow rapidly, shedding their skin four times, doubling in size in less than a week.
3. Pupa Stage
This stage lasts between 2 to 4 days, depending on the temperature. During this phase they do not eat.
4. Adult Phase
The mosquito emerges from the pupa and remains on the surface of the water to dry, harden and later fly.
How to identify the tiger mosquito
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Preventative measures to help keep the Tiger Mosquito at Bay
- Empty, twice a week, any outside containers that can collect water such as toys, ashtrays, vases, buckets, plastic pools, etc.
- Empty washing areas and small containers twice a week or cover them with a mosquito net.
- Remove the plates from under plant pots. If this is not possible, empty them when full of water.
- Change the water of any plants that live in water on a weekly basis.
- Keep pools covered if not in use. If not properly maintained normal mosquitoes can breed, but if the water level is low, tiger mosquitoes can breed. The best option is to treat the water all year round or to cover them when not in use.
- Change your pet’s water often.
- Make sure that wells, cisterns, tanks or water containers are properly covered
- Cover holes in logs and branches, filling them with sand.
- Avoid standing water in drainage areas, gutters, downspouts.
- Avoid holes in the ground where water can accumulate.
- Eliminate any objects that can generally accumulate rainwater.
- If you cannot, empty these or renovate and move the water to ensure that it is not sitting for more than 3 or 4 days.
In short….. NO WATER FOR THE TIGER MOSQUITO!