Tiger mosquitoes have increasingly settled at the Rhine port and near the French motorway toll. But after Muttenz and Reinach, larvae have also been found in Basel’s new bathing district. Now the Basel Department of Health and the Basel Construction and Environmental Protection Directorate have issued a joint statement stating that the population should help tackle the pest.
Annoying, but so far not dangerous
The tiger mosquito is a troublesome insect that is active during the day and mainly breeds in settlement areas, according to the Basel cantons. With her stings she can transmit diseases. But that has never happened in Switzerland. Because where there are no hosts, for example malaria, no pathogens could be transmitted. At the same time, there must be a high density of a mosquito population. The transmission risk is therefore considered to be minimal.
Nevertheless, Baselland and Basel-Stadt have taken measures in the public space to stop the tiger mosquito. Private individuals can support the efforts, for example by dispensing with plant pots or emptying them once a week. Because tiger mosquitoes lay their eggs in small vessels with standing water. Rain barrels, watering cans or buckets could also become breeding grounds and should be covered or emptied. The local authorities do not recommend the use of insecticides.
The first find of a tiger mosquito in the Basel area happened in Arlesheim in 2015. Since then, there have been isolated finds at the Pratteln motorway service area and one in the Green 80. What is new about the most recent cases in Basler Neubad, Reinach and Muttenz is that larvae were found in the settlement area. When and how the tiger mosquito will settle in the region is currently unclear. “The spread depends on the climate, compliance with the instructions and the efforts of the authorities,” says Gabriel Stebler from the Basel Environmental Protection and Energy Agency. In the meantime, it was important to prevent tiger mosquito populations.
The tiger mosquito has been in Ticino in recent years
already widely spread. It was first proven there in 2003. Since then it has spread northwards. For example, tiger mosquitoes have already been spotted in the cantons of Zurich, Bern and Freiburg.