RIVM also keeps an eye on tiger mosquitoes

The tiger mosquito has been advancing in Europe for years. And with it the risk of tropical diseases in Europe. That is why the RIVM also started a study into the tiger mosquito in 2008. In 2012 there was a huge plague of tiger mosquitoes in Venice, which people tried to combat with bats. Is it the turn of the whole of the Netherlands in 2020? Since 2015, tiger mosquitoes have been a nuisance in Brabant, Limburg, and in places such as Oss and Weert. Not nice.


The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM, will investigate the risks of virus transmission by tiger mosquitoes on behalf of the Ministry of Health. That’s helpful, but shocking at the same time. After all, you can assume that such a renowned institute does not act overnight and therefore recognizes the seriousness of the tiger mosquito. The tiger mosquito as an additional threat to public health.

Tropical diseases

The tiger mosquito is best known for the chikungunya disease. There is no vaccine or preventive treatment against this tropical disease. The disease is particularly susceptible to the elderly and people with poor resistance. The tiger mosquito has been appearing in Italy since the 1960s. The tiger mosquito is originally from Southeast Asia, but apparently feels at home in the West. The mosquito has already caused epidemics on the French island of Reunion. Resulting in 125 deaths. The mosquito has also been spotted south of us in Brussels. And last summer, Schiermonnikoog also turned out to be very vulnerable to the mosquito. This means that the mosquito has been observed both in the north of the country and south of our country. We’re trapped. It won’t be long before the Netherlands will be overrun by this tough mosquito.

Via bamboo from China

The tiger mosquito mainly comes from China on bamboo or used car tires. So we actually don’t want that. That is why bamboo importers have installed preventive mosquito traps that are emptied every two weeks. No infected mosquitoes have yet been found in the traps, but that is not enough reassurance. The Netherlands is rich in water, with a lot of standing water, and seems to be an ideal location given the current warming climate. And why wouldn’t infected mosquitoes from Italy make the transition at some point? After all, there are already tiger mosquitoes in our country. In addition, mosquitoes that have not yet been infected can become infected when biting an infected person. Consider a tourist who contracted the disease abroad. Mosquitoes thrive in stagnant water.

Public health

The transmission of diseases by mosquitoes is anything but illusory in the Netherlands. A few decades ago, it was still possible to contract malaria in our country. But also consider diseases such as dengue fever or yellow fever. Reason why the RIVM wanted to investigate it further and will also keep an eye on the tiger mosquito in 2020. The research is currently focusing on the question to what extent the mosquitoes present here also transmit viruses and is particularly looking at the possible transmission of the dengue virus that causes dengue fever.

Tiger mosquito plague in Venice and soon also a plague in the Netherlands?

Due to the major plague of tiger mosquitoes in Venice in June 2010, the city council asked the population to install bat boxes in the hope that the bats will come to nest there. A single bat can eat a few thousand mosquitoes in one night, and hopefully many tiger mosquitoes. The Lido in particular suffers from these annoying mosquitoes. Here too, the tiger mosquito is seen as a major threat to public health. It was a problem in 2012 and in 2019 and 2020 the tiger mosquito is being observed in our own country. Probably came with the import of used tires. It often happens that unwanted exotic species are imported (especially via ships and planes), but the tiger mosquito can even become dangerous to our public health. The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority NVWA is currently distributing letters containing more information about control and how to prevent further spread. Anyway, who stops a mosquito from going a block further? No human.

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