The Lake Geneva region is mobilizing against the tiger mosquito. A Franco-Swiss campaign has been launched to raise public awareness of this invasive species, which could ultimately represent a health risk.
This unprecedented collaboration was born under the impetus of the Conseil du Léman, which brings together the cantons of Vaud, Geneva and Valais, as well as the French departments of Ain and Haute-Savoie: “This public health issue makes sense at the cross-border level, “said Véronique Baude, president of the Environment Commission of the Lake Geneva Council on Tuesday.
The Swiss Mosquito Network logo. [www.moustiques-suisse.ch]“The goal is to cooperate and exchange information in a just-in-time fashion, which will allow us to be more effective in the fight”, explains Daniel Cherix, honorary professor at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and active in the field. Swiss Mosquito Network, at 12:45 p.m.
Also vice-president of Ain, Véronique Baude reminded the press that the tiger mosquito had been present in her department since 2015 and that it never ceased to proliferate in the region, where it benefits from global warming. The undesired was first reported in Geneva and Monthey (VS) in 2019, but not yet in Vaud. Elsewhere in Switzerland, he moved to Ticino in 2003 before moving to Basel and Zurich in particular.
Native to Southeast Asia, the tiger mosquito has the particularity of moving in vehicles, then settling in small volumes of water to reproduce. “The big problem is that these water points are very numerous in gardens, on balconies and, in general, in urban areas”, underlines Daniel Cherix.
>> Listen to Daniel Cherix at 12:45:
>> Read: The tiger mosquito hunt is open in French-speaking Switzerland
Prevention campaigns have already been carried out in the cantons, but the objective now also consists of disseminating the same message to the entire Lake Geneva basin and to its three million inhabitants. An educational video was produced in particular to transmit the right reflexes to fight against tiger mosquitoes: “You can limit these populations with very simple actions: whenever there is a small volume of water (…), it must be emptied once a week. That is enough “, notes Daniel Cherix.
The population is also called upon to participate in spotting this insect, by indicating its presence on a dedicated website: www.moustiques-suisse.ch. “We ask our citizens to be the sentinels in the fight against this species,” said Véronique Baude.
The different tiger mosquitoes. [Réseau Suisse Moustiques]
Measuring between five and ten millimeters, the tiger mosquito is recognizable by its body and legs striped in black and white. It bites during the day, several times, and can be a vector of dengue, zika or chikungunya. However, it only transmits these diseases when it has bitten someone who is already infected.
>> Read: WHO declares Zika virus “global public health emergency”
After this joint mobilization, the Lake Geneva Council does not exclude repeating this operation for other harmful insects such as the Asian hornet or the Asian capricorn. “These are harmful species against which we must work collectively”, noted Véronique Baude.
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