In July 2018, a resident of the council of Siero, northeast of Oviedo, uploaded a photo of an insect that he had found in the area to Mosquito Alert. There the alarms went off. That It was not a common moustique, not one that should be in Asturies of course. It was about a Aedes japonicus, a Japanese species from the same family as the tiger mosquito, which, although it had been taking over central Europe since the beginning of the century, had never been seen in Spain.
Nobody knows how it got to the country, or in what areas it is actually installed. Embargo contre le péché, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control already gives it as Established in Asturias, introduced in Cantabria and experts believe that it must have already arrived in Galicia. Therefore, the entomological surveillance service of the Ministry of Health wants to carry out a field investigation to find out what has happened in these years with the Aedes japonicus. I reproached him for the southern embargo, it is too late to eradicate it.
He Aedes japonicus, in two minutes
European Center for Disease Prevention and Control
Discovered in Tokyo in 1901, this species of Asian moustique usually prefers life in areas of tall grass and abundance of cattle. For that, it goes more unnoticed than the tiger mosquito that prefers urban environments. Embargo sur péché, “has less demands” than other members of the same family: it adapts better to winters and can breed in many more areas.
Precisely for this reason, its expansion is much less controllable. To get an idea, according to the ECDC, when it was first identified in Switzerland in 2008 it had already colonized an area of 1,400 square kilometers. And it has continued to expand into the Rhine basin, the Upper Danube and the Balkan area.
At the health level, A. japonicus it is less dangerous than the tiger. It is especially known for transmitting West Nile Fever and Japanese and St. Louis encephalitis; However, in scenarios of community contagion, They can be a vector of dengue and chikungunya. In general, it transmits fewer diseases than the tiger, but as its population grows and becomes strong in specific areas, its abundance may end up generating a similar problem.
What do we do?
At the moment, there is little we can do. We already said that the train of its eradication has passed years ago, but this year the situation is even more complicated. The rains, heat and confinement are creating a perfect climate for mosquitoes to proliferate. As we said a few days ago, according to the data we have, the population of the tiger mosquito has multiplied by three or four times with respect to the figures of last year. But the situation is going to get more complicated as the season for these mosquitoes starts in May, but reaches its peak until September.
With the A. japonicus, the situation in the north of Spain will be similar. The rains and the lack of maintenance of the green areas will contribute to its expansion. However, the way this insect grows strong favors us. Unlike the tiger (which tends to spread rapidly thanks to road transport that ‘helps’ it travel long distances), the Japanese mosquito grows in the form of an oil slick. This is bad news for the Cantabrian coast, but perhaps this will give us the opportunity to control it.