He wears white and black stripes, is often hated by men, because he can transmit diseases. Coming from Asia, the tiger mosquito appeared in France in 2004. In 2022, 67 metropolitan departments were placed on red alert by the Vigilance mosquitoes site, three more than last year.
Why is Aedes albopictus colonizing our country so quickly? What are the health risks associated with this insect? How to fight against its proliferation? Welcome to “Animal”, the series about animals in town. Living beings, small or large, with us share our cities. After the sparrows, let’s discover the tiger mosquito with Anna-Bella Failloux, professor at the Institut Pasteur in Paris in medical entomology, specialist in insects, in particular mosquito vectors of disease, such as dengue fever and chikungunya.
Exceptional resistance to drought and cold
The most affected areas of metropolitan territory are in the south, in cities like Montpellier or Nice, where it has become a pest. And a bad surprise: the tiger mosquito bites during the day, unlike the classic mosquito – the culex – which mainly bites at dawn and dusk.
Another specificity: the eggs of the tiger mosquito are able to withstand extreme conditions, both cold and drought. They can turn into mosquito larvae several months after spawning, confronted with very low temperatures or dried up by weeks of high heat. This is how the eggs travel from one end of the planet to the other, under the tires, by transported goods or plants. It is thus man, through globalized exchanges, who participates in its dissemination. What are the means of struggle? What are the scientific avenues for limiting its proliferation? How can the tiger mosquito transmit dengue fever, Zika or chikungunya? All the answers from scientist Anna-Bella Failloux in this episode.
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