Mosquitoes in Spain: Occurrence, Sources and Periods of Threat

Spain, with its warm Mediterranean climate, provides an ideal environment for many species of mosquitoes, which can become a real nuisance for locals and tourists. The problem has increased in recent years, linked to global warming and climate change. In this article, we will take a closer look at the incidence, sources and periods of mosquito danger in Spain, in order to be better prepared for these small but troublesome insects.

Occurrence of mosquitoes in Spain

Spain is home to many species of mosquito, but of greatest concern are Aedes albopictus, also known as the tiger mosquito, and Culex, known as the house mosquito. The tiger mosquito, originally from Asia, was first identified in Spain in 2004 and since then its population has been growing rapidly. This species is particularly dangerous because it can transmit viruses such as dengue fever, yellow fever and the Zika virus.

Sources and causes of the spread of mosquitoes

Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so their presence is often associated with neglected pools, flower pots, tyres and other places where water can accumulate. Urbanisation and changes in land use also contribute to an increase in habitats suitable for mosquitoes. The Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and mild winters, is conducive to mosquito survival and reproduction for most of the year.

Period of risk

In Spain, the period of greatest mosquito activity is during the warm months, usually from May to October. During this time, the risk of bites is greatest, especially during the evening and night hours, when mosquitoes are most active. However, it is worth bearing in mind that, depending on the region and weather conditions, this period may vary slightly.

How to protect yourself?

There are several effective ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes. Among the most popular are:

  • Using repellents: products containing DEET, icaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective in repelling mosquitoes.
  • Mounting nets on windows: this prevents mosquitoes from flying in.
  • Avoiding being outside during peak mosquito activity hours.
  • Removing areas of standing water around the house to reduce breeding sites for mosquitoes.

The mosquito problem in Spain is complex and requires both individual and community action to reduce their populations and the risk of the diseases they transmit. By understanding their occurrence, sources and periods of risk, we are better equipped to take effective protection measures. Let us remember that prevention is key and appropriate action can significantly improve defence capabilities.

Mosquitoes in Torrevieja (Spain)

Mosquitoes are an integral part of the environment of the municipality of Torrevieja. They cannot be completely eliminated. They inhabited the salt marshes long before the advent of holiday homes and will still be there many years after most of them have disappeared.

However, the municipality can prevent uncontrolled mosquito infestations after episodes of heavy rainfall, often followed by high temperatures.

Torrevieja City Council, based on years of experience in dealing with these insects, has identified ten areas that are most vulnerable to outbreaks of mosquito infestation. This identification is crucial in the awarding of a new pest control contract, which is expected to cost almost half a million euros over the next five years.

Areas particularly vulnerable to mosquitoes include the irrigation areas between the CV-905 road and the shores of Torrevieja’s pink lagoon, including the urbanisations of El Limonar, Punta de la Víbora and various phases of Las Torretas; or the flooded areas between the N-332 road and the shores of Torrevieja’s lagoon. Particular attention is also given to areas where rainwater can accumulate between the CV-95 road and the Torrevieja lagoon, including the urbanisations of Lago Jardín, Villa Sol and Los Balcones.

Similarly, the area formed by the salt canal between the N-332 road and Avda Gregorio Marañón avenue, with Estación park and Rincón del Salinero park.

The areas around the parks of Doña Sinforosa, Islas Canarias, San Roque and Rincón de Asturias also deserve attention. Finally, the drains around the promenades of La Libertad and Vistalegre, where the main infrastructures collecting stormwater from the urban area converge, are singled out as particularly problematic areas.

Outside this top ten, but still receiving preferential treatment, are the cemeteries of Torrevieja and La Mata, and for health reasons, the Torrevieja hospital, located next to the lagoon, as well as the health centres of Acequión, La Loma, San Luis, La Mata and Patricio Pérez.

The new contract contains two important conditions, in addition to special attention to the impact of pesticides in the natural park when rainfall exceeds 20 litres per square metre, the winning company must organise extensive campaigns.

In addition, the company must include a project to promote biodiversity in the comprehensive treatment of pests, prioritising the recovery of species that mainly feed on mosquitoes: bats, the population’s main allies in this fight.

The City Council is also devoting a large part of the specifications of the new pest control contract to clarifying the measures that must be adopted when spraying in the Lagoon Natural Park.

He points out that the area has a great diversity of fauna, flora and ecological processes of great environmental interest, and is designated as a Site of Community Importance.

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