Video.  Charente-Maritime tries to tame the tiger mosquito

Video. Charente-Maritime tries to tame the tiger mosquito

Moustique tigre 1 – table tennis 0. Two years ago, Jean-François Asseline put away the ping-pong table. The insect’s attacks were too harsh to continue playing outside with his grandson. “We have to deal with it”, accepts this young retiree from Chaniers. The presence of the mosquito in his charming garden, rue des Hirondelles, has been authenticated since 2019. Regularly, the Council’s mosquito control service…

Moustique tigre 1 – table tennis 0. Two years ago, Jean-François Asseline put away the ping-pong table. The insect’s attacks were too harsh to continue playing outside with his grandson. “We have to deal with it”, accepts this young retiree from Chaniers. The presence of the mosquito in his charming garden, rue des Hirondelles, has been authenticated since 2019. The Departmental Council’s mosquito control service regularly comes to identify the traps set to contain the beast.

Jean-François Asseline works with the mosquito control service to limit the number of mosquitoes in his garden.


Jean-François Asseline works with the mosquito control service to limit the number of mosquitoes in his garden.

Philippe Ménard/ “South West”

This service was founded in the 1960s to fight against the so-called “comfort” mosquito, the one that bothers you during the aperitif but which does not present a health risk. It has 19 agents, a significant number but necessary to prevent a proliferation that is harmful to tourism.

“It is a major economic issue. If there is a swarm of mosquitoes near a campsite, it empties within an hour,” insists Dominique Rabelle, vice-president of the Departmental Council. We use organic products to destroy the larvae in marshes or wet undergrowth.

For this trap, the principle is to encourage the female to lay eggs on a piece of polystyrene.  The larvae thus remain out of the water and do not hatch.


For this trap, the principle is to encourage the female to lay eggs on a piece of polystyrene. The larvae thus remain out of the water and do not hatch.

Philippe Ménard/ “South West”

Carpooling

The fight against the tiger mosquito is supported by the State, via the Regional Health Agency (ARS). The bug can indeed carry nasty viruses: dengue fever, chikungunya, zika, arbovirus. This has not yet happened in New Aquitaine and the objective is precisely to avoid it.

In Charente-Maritime, the ARS has entrusted the hunting of tiger mosquitoes to the service headed by Sébastien Chouin, under the aegis of the departmental councilor Dominique Rabelle.


In Charente-Maritime, the ARS has entrusted the hunting of tiger mosquitoes to the service headed by Sébastien Chouin, under the aegis of the departmental councilor Dominique Rabelle.

Philippe Ménard/ “South West”

In 2014, an insect was spotted for the first time on a motorway rest area in Chermignac. The place was treated and the beast did not show its snout until 2018. “We gained four years”, points out Sébastien Chouin, the head of the mosquito control service.

“The department is not invaded, but we must remain vigilant”

The tiger mosquito is lazy. Bad “sailboat”, it does not radiate more than 150 meters, when other species can swallow more than ten terminals. On the other hand, he is transported, by plane, by boat, by car. The authorities therefore monitor airports, ports or… motorway service areas in particular.

On the sidelines of the press briefing, a point of stagnant water was discovered at the bottom of a vase.  The water was infested with mosquitoes.


On the sidelines of the press briefing, a point of stagnant water was discovered at the bottom of a vase. The water was infested with mosquitoes.

Philippe Ménard/ “South West”

Chasing away stagnant water

A national website and an application set up by the Department – ​​“i Moustique” – invite individuals to report the intruder. It was spotted in seven municipalities: Saintes in 2018, Chaniers and Nieul-sur-mer in 2019, Saint-Georges-d’Oléron and Périgny in 2020, Saint-Georges-de-Didonne and Saint-Sauveur-d’Aunis in 2021. There are probably others. “The department is not invaded, but we must remain vigilant,” insists Sébastien Chouin.

In the water, you can see the captured mosquitoes.


In the water, you can see the captured mosquitoes.

Philippe Ménard/ “South West”

Prevention involves “good gestures”: emptying the saucers of flower pots or putting sand in them; cover the water collectors; clean gutters, manholes, siphons; put away anything that can retain rainwater. In short, drive out all potential nurseries.

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