Stop the Spread of Tiger Mosquitos in Basel
The Basel-Stadt health department is alerting residents about the Asian tiger mosquito (Asiatische Tigermücke), which is spreading in some areas in Basel and is not only a nuisance but may also transmit diseases. The annual monitoring of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) shows that the affected areas have increased significantly since they were first detected in 2015. The tiger mosquito has already established itself in the Basel St. Johann neighborhood on the border with France, in Kleinhüningen on the border with Germany, as well as in the Iselin, Gotthelf, Klybeck, Rosenthal, Wettstein, Breite, Gundeldingen, and Bachletten neighborhoods. A map showing the areas where the tiger mosquito must be actively controlled is posted on the cantonal laboratory’s website at www.kantonslabor.bs.ch/tigermuecke.
In contrast to the “normal” mosquitos, the tiger mosquitos are active during the day and rather aggressive. The cantonal health department has started a broad-based information campaign in 2020, with the aim of highlighting ways in which everyone can help to reduce the further spread of the tiger mosquito. On public land, the control is carried out by the municipalities. On private property, the respective owners, tenants, or leaseholders are obliged to eliminate breeding grounds for the tiger mosquito or to treat them with a biocide that is specifically effective against mosquitoes. The biocide may only be used in the control zones and after instruction by a specialist.
The most important and simplest measure in helping to contain the spread of the tiger mosquitos is by eliminating as much as possible areas of standing water, which can serve as a breeding ground for the mosquitos (this also helps against our pesky regular mosquitos!). They are suggesting that you try to make sure that there is no standing water by paying attention to the following in your gardens, balconies, or other outdoor areas:
- Remove the flat saucers underneath your flowerpots or empty them regularly.
- Cover rainwater collection barrels and make sure that no standing water collects on them.
- Store watering cans upside down.
- Dispose of your trash immediately and/or store it in a well-sealed container.
- If you have a kiddie pool for your young children, exchange the water weekly.
If you have a small pond or something similar, you don’t need to do anything because there are typically other organisms that will feed on the mosquitos or their eggs.
You can also download an information leaflet on tiger mosquitos in one of 17 languages at https://www.stadtgaertnerei.bs.ch/freizeitgaerten/Gartenberatung/Neobiota.html#page_section3_section2.
To help residents combat tiger mosquitos, the cantonal laboratory has set up a tiger mosquito clinic every two weeks from the end of April to the end of October, alternating on Thursdays in the cantonal health department at Malzgasse 30 (from 12:00-13:00) and on Wednesdays at the municipal nursery on Münsterplatz (from 17:00-18:00). A staff member will be present during the consultation hours and provide information on the tiger mosquitos and the most important preventive measures. During those times, a larvicide will be given free of charge to affected residents, and its proper use will be explained.
With these measures in place, you will hopefully be able to enjoy a warm summer season without any tiger mosquitos, and fewer mosquitos in general!