Can you protect yourself from tiger mosquitoes?
Tiger mosquitoes feel especially at home in places like cemeteries or gardens. The reason for this is the many small water residues that collect, for example, in flower pots, rain gutters or watering cans. Mosquitoes lay their eggs just above the surface of the water. They can even survive the winter, so mosquitoes hatch in the spring without worry. Climate change and rising temperatures are helping tiger mosquitoes feel at home here in Germany.
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What do tiger mosquitoes look like?
The tiny insects look like a twisted cone fly and are about 1 cm (1 cm) smaller than a coin. They originally came from Southeast Asia and found their way to Germany by importing bamboo and other products. They can be identified by their black and white stripes and range in size from 2 to 10 millimeters. They are also bad fliers and often stay close to the ground.
Nasty aggressive insects have been around in Germany for more than ten years. Tiger mosquitoes were first reported in Munich in 2019. Other cities in Germany are also struggling with them – including Jena, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Friborg and Erding.
How dangerous are tiger mosquitoes?
The tiger mosquito should not be underestimated as it can transmit tropical diseases that can be extremely dangerous to humans. In addition to the dengue and Zika viruses, they can also be carriers of the chikungunya virus. The latter is seen as the greatest danger in Germany, as it can survive despite the climate here.
It’s still too cold in our area for the other two. However, it is reassuring that no viral infections caused by tiger mosquitoes have been reported in Munich.
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How is the fight against tiger mosquitoes in Munich?
In many places, certain measures are taken to prevent the spread of the tiger mosquito. This is also the case in Munich: Munich relies on poisons and traps, because the city has hired a specialized company to set traps in cemeteries and train tracks.
The specific places where tiger mosquitoes can lay eggs have also been cleaned up. In the affected parks in Munich, small information boards warn and give advice on how to avoid the breeding site.
How can I protect myself from tiger mosquitoes?
If you have a garden or balcony at home, you can also do something to prevent the little bad guys from breeding. As in cemeteries, water residues in pots or flower pots should be avoided and places cleaned regularly. What you can do is empty and cover potential breeding areas like watering cans and rain barrels if you don’t use these gardening tools regularly.
You should pay special attention to cleanliness at the edges. This also applies to paddling or bird ponds. One solution could be to cover water containers in the garden, such as rain barrels, or to stretch a mosquito net over them. The golden rule: the fewer puddles and small pools of water that can accumulate in your garden or on your balcony, the lower the chance of encountering tiger mosquitoes. You can also get vaccinated against dengue fever since February 2023.