Mosquitoes quite obviously proliferate in the wetland of Ses Fontanelles in Playa de Palma. Or they used to. The town hall's health department is preventing mosquito reproduction with the help of a company called Lokimica, which specialises in the control of pests.
The company's technical manager, Alberto Chordá, is a doctor of biological sciences. His thesis was about mosquitoes. He explains that a larvicide of biological origin has been used at Ses Fontanelles. It only affects mosquitoes and is applied when there are larvae. It only kills the mosquito larva and so reproduction is prevented.
When Lokimica started to work at Ses Fontanelles in 2013, "it was impossible to be there" because of the sheer number of mosquitoes. The improvement has been dramatic.
The director general of Palma town hall's health department, Joaquín de María, says that it is important to distinguish between mosquitoes and chironomid clouds of non-biting midges. They are necessary because they are part of the food chain of insectivorous birds. They may cause some alarm, but they do have a biological benefit.
Chordá notes that climate change is disrupting the reproductive cycle and is leading to an increase in numbers of both mosquitoes and cockroaches. High temperatures combined with the rains in September are perfect for mosquitoes to multiply. For cockroaches, darkness, dampness and organic matter are the right ingredients for them to multiply. The drains in Palma are therefore being treated three times a year.
The mosquitoes that are found in wetlands like Ses Fontanelles are the common and marsh mosquitoes. Quite another thing is the tiger mosquito, which prefers urban areas and breeds in only small amounts of water, such as garden watering cans.