If we had to draw a composite portrait of the mosquito-tiger, we would first have to talk about his costume, the black and white stripes on the body and on the legs. Then its Lilliputian size (less than 0.5 cm) and finally the fact that it is rather silent, is not really a night owl and therefore bites more during the day. It’s a safe bet that you have already crossed paths without even knowing it because Aedes albopictus, from its scientific name, has been able to adapt to our climate and is now present in 67 departments of metropolitan France out of 96.
On January 1, according to the Anses signalement-mosquito website, 3,934 municipalities were colonized by this insect originating from the tropical forests of Southeast Asia, which probably arrived in Europe via international trade in interior of used tires.
“Its population is becoming denser around Île-de-France”
“It continues to rise towards the North of France and its population is becoming denser in the Rhône valley, around Île-de-France and on the Atlantic coast”, underlines Elsa Quillery, coordinator of scientific expertise at the ‘Anses.
What worry the health authorities because the tiger is able to transmit to humans different viruses such as dengue fever, chikungunya or zika. France regularly observes “imported” cases of dengue fever affecting French travelers returning from stays in tropical areas where the mosquito is even more prevalent than in France.
But as early as 2010, two “indigenous” cases of dengue fever and two of chikungunya had been detected respectively in Nice and Fréjus.
Ditto last year with two cases of dengue fever in the Var and near Montpellier. The health authorities had also triggered a mosquito control protocol in 2021 after the discovery of a case of dengue fever in a resident of Alfortville (Val-de-Marne).
Do not believe that you are quiet if you live in town, because Aedes Albopictus does not disdain to settle in very dense urban areas.
As it loves damp areas and likes to settle in vases, barrels, gutters, gutters and other water holes, ANSES strongly advises regularly emptying the cups and vases under your flower pots and even introducing fish that will eat the larvae if you have an ornamental pond in your garden.