A native of the tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia, the tiger mosquito typically flies and feeds in the daytime in addition to at dusk and dawn. It has the potential to transmit numerous viruses including the yellow fever virus, dengue fever, and Chikungunya fever. It is also capable of hosting and spreading the Zika virus.
The tiger mosquito, named after its striped appearance, has spread from its home to many countries through the transport of goods and international travel.
The insect is already present in the cantons of Geneva, Valais and Ticino. More recently, it has become established in Nyon and Bourg-en-Lavaux (Cully) in the canton of Vaud, reported RTS.
According to cantonal officials the health risks are currently low. However summer temperatures favour mosquitos so it is likely increasing numbers will be detected.
Vaud has launched a campaign to inform the public on how to make life difficult for the pest. Most importantly, people should make sure they have no stagnent pools of water anywhere. For example watering cans with water left in them or empty containers left outside. Old tires are a particular problem. Left unsheltered they fill with rain water and provide perfect breeding grounds for mosquitos.
The canton has been monitoring five municipalities since 2019. If the insect is found residents should contact their municipality so it can eradicate the insect before it becomes established. There is a procedure in place in many places to deal with the insect when reported. The federal strategy for the pest is to manage down its number in order to limit disease transmission.
Local eradication can be highly effective because the tiger mosquito has only a short flight range.
The canton of Vaud published more detail on the subject in a press release on 25 May 2023.