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Mosquitoes in Spain are no longer only biting in the main summer months

Mosquitoes in Spain are no longer only biting in the main summer months

Higher temperatures are said to be changing the lifecycle of the insects and they are active, even biting, almost 12 months of the year in some regions, claim Mosquito Alert volunteers

Raquel C. Pico

Friday, 2 June 2023, 19:26


Mosquitoes in Spain are evolving and changing with the seasons and becoming a nuisance well before summer even starts.

The insects were seen out as early as January this year. Volunteers for Mosquito Alert reported sightings in Barcelona on just the first day of the year.

And then they did not disappear, at least not completely. "During this winter, users occasionally reported some mosquitoes through our alert system, which coincided with reports from other sources," Roger Eritja, head of entomology and data validation at Mosquito Alert, said.

"This was unusual for Catalonia, because mosquitoes have to hibernate here," he said. The unusually high temperatures meant that the mosquitoes stayed after the end of autumn, the expert said.

It’s sparked conversation about the life cycle of the mosquito and if people will have to expect them all-year-round.

During the colder months, the usual mosquito species on the mainland hibernate, adopting "a phase of resistance," said entomologist Rubén Bueno. "This is changing and they are active, even biting, in some regions almost 12 months of the year," he said.

Bueno also pointed out that the "tropicalisation" of part of the geography makes Spain a much more hospitable place for mosquitoes.

Tiger mosquito

Unlike the usual mosquito, the tiger mosquito does not need a large amount of water to thrive. Its larvae can survive in "small collections of water".

The appearance of the tiger mosquito is not only worrying because any alteration of the biodiversity of a specific place by invasive species is worrying, but also because of the health implications. The mosquito is a potential vector for a number of viruses, such as the West Nile virus.


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