The tiger mosquito, which has spread to Majorca, has been placed on the list of the world’s one hundred most invasive species on account of its ability to transmit the dengue and chikungunya viruses.
A researcher co-ordinating the project Atrapaeltigre, Aitana Oltra, says that the mosquito moves no further than 500 metres during the period of its life, so its arrival in Spain is attributed to the movement of freight, for example bamboo, and to being able to breed in small containers with water.
One of the most important means of control, therefore, is to avoid keeping water in containers. Doing so for as little as six days can give rise to tiger mosquito breeding.
Oltra advises against accumulating rainwater and believes that habits need to be changed in order to use less water.
The Atrapaeltigre project is one that actively invites participation of the public and local authorities in monitoring movement of the tiger mosquito in various parts of Spain.
Part of the campaign includes a mobile app, Tigatrapp, through which photos of potential breeding sites can be sent. Mosquito eggs hatch when covered with water (and a female can lay hundreds of eggs), and it is far more efficient to control and stop the breeding than the adult insect.