Invasive species: Asian tiger mosquito continues to spread in the Upper Rhine

According to the mosquito fighters on the Upper Rhine, the Asian tiger mosquito has spread significantly in the region in the past year.

Invasive species: Asian tiger mosquito continues to spread in the Upper Rhine

According to the mosquito fighters on the Upper Rhine, the Asian tiger mosquito has spread significantly in the region in the past year. "The hot summer months have clearly favored the spread of the mosquito," said Xenia Augsten from the municipal action group to combat the mosquito plague (Kabs) in Speyer in a balance sheet for 2022. "This year six generations of the aggressive exotic species were able to develop into flying insects - two more than last year." The drought did not harm the tiger mosquitoes. "They found enough breeding opportunities in the street gully, for example."

The tiger mosquito spreads particularly well here

The annoying bloodsucker is currently reported from 21 cities and communities in the member area on both sides of the Rhine, said Augsten. "An established population was detected in 16 of them. This number has more than doubled within a year." The tiger mosquito was fought in eleven cities and communities, such as Wiesbaden and Kehl. "This is not hopeless Sisyphean work. Among other things, in the Rhein-Taunus district or in the Karlsruhe district, the personnel-intensive operation was successful," said the Kabs spokeswoman.

However, the Kabs recognized in late summer that they had reached their performance limits in terms of personnel. "If 2022 had been as flooded as 2021, it would not have been possible to combat tiger mosquitoes to this extent," Augsten admitted. The fight against the tiger mosquito is important. "Hotter and hotter summers as a result of global warming increase the risk of the tropical diseases chikungunya or dengue fever also appearing in Germany. The risk is still low - but it should by no means be underestimated if the Asian tiger mosquito spreads further."

In 2022 there were generally fewer mosquitoes

With a view to 2021 and 2022, Augsten spoke of "years of contrasts". "The heavy rainfall in 2021 led to a high incidence of native mosquito species. In 2022, on the other hand, there was hardly anything for the Kabs to do in the floodplains, because the low-rainfall summer did not allow the Rhine gnats to develop in large numbers."

The combination of dry breeding grounds and successful control measures gave those living along the Rhine an almost mosquito-free summer. More than 90 municipalities in Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse are united in the Kabs.

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