Deadly Asian tiger mosquitoes have been detected for the first time in Brittany, just across the English Channel from the UK.
The French Regional Health Agency (Agence Regionale de Sante; ARS) said in a statement that they detected the deadly insects in the commune of Domagne in the department of Ile-et-Vilaine in the western Brittany region.
They added that they are planning to carry out a large-scale insecticide campaign to kill all the Asian tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus).
The health agency issued a list of reminders for citizens to limit their exposure to the danger, including emptying any containers filled up with rainwater as this is where tiger mosquitoes like to lay their eggs.
They also published useful tips to help people identify the deadly mosquito from regular mosquitoes. They said: “It is very small! (about 5mm, wings and body included); It has black and white stripes (not yellow), on its body and legs; it lives and stings during the day (it won’t prevent you from sleeping!); its sting is painful.”
The French Regional Health agency shared a post on Twitter, announcing that the mosquitoes had been detected in Brittany and linking to their statement on their website.
They added that steps were being taken to eradicate the mosquitoes “permanently”.
They said that a specialist company was deployed on Thursday evening to use insecticide to kill the bugs.
Tiger mosquitoes, which first appeared in France in the south-eastern city of Nice in 2004, have moved north over the years, sweeping across the country towards the UK and even reaching Paris in 2018.
New areas of the country are under threat from the Asian tiger mosquito, which carry viruses such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. Over half of France is now in the red danger zone, which represents areas where the mosquito is “implanted” and “active”.
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