toulouse Mosquitoes spoil the summer: why is there no general mosquito control?

August-September is a sensitive period in Toulouse and its agglomeration: mosquitoes are particularly virulent there. The residents are on their teeth… (©Illustration/Adobe Stock)

These are the first cases of autochthonous dengue fever History of the Haute Garonne. For a week, the community La Salvetat Saint Gillesnear Toulouse, has to face the arrival of this disease linked to the presence of mosquitoes.

Mosquito control measures

Within a few days, three mosquito control operations took place in this community in targeted areas.

Blagnacbecause of a case of imported dengue fever and toulousebecause of a suspicion of dengue fever, also carried out special mosquito control campaigns.

The residents of the agglomeration are angry

In social networks these operations have had the gift get residents to respond of the agglomeration, visibly upset by the general invasion of mosquitoes on the territory of Toulouse Métropole. Small anthology…

For Satine, “they are waiting for dengue fever to arrive and we, north of Toulouse, will be eaten…”.

For Lily, removing mosquitoes from a street is “absolutely useless.” She adds: “It’s the whole city that needs mosquito control. At the end of summer it’s a bit late, it’s around March-April you have to do it”.

” TO Colomiers, it is for when asks Josette.

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To Castelginestin Aucamville, Launaguet, Saint-Orens, Pibrac… Always the same observations: “We are infected, “It’s a total invasion”, “It’s hell, we can no longer enjoy the gardens, nor eat outside

Summing up everyone’s thoughts behind the devastating news, Camille said: “But indeed it is the entire enlarged agglomeration that should be removed from mosquitoes to restore a semblance of serenity to the people of Toulouse…”

Remove mosquitoes from an entire community, such as some communities on the Mediterranean coast, or even the entire agglomeration? It would be very complicated for various reasons, replies the Regional Health Authority of Occitania.

“Empty a Bathtub with a Spoon”

To Jean Sebastien Dehecq, Sanitary engineer at ARS Occitanie, removing mosquitoes from a large area of ​​the Toulouse metropolitan area in spring would be like emptying a bathtub filled with a spoon…”. He explains:

“The mosquito develops in two stages. The eggs laid in the water become larvae, then the mosquito hatches. However, mosquito control as practiced does not completely eliminate the larvae found in the water in spring or early summer. Then, during the summer, and especially in August and September, when the mosquito population is most numerous, it would then be necessary to generalize and regularly carry out the mosquito control measures in all the municipalities of the metropolitan areas harmful consequences. In fact, the product used is not selective and twould kill other insects as mosquitoes. And if it rained, the dispersed product would run off into the water of the creeks and kill as well aquatic fauna” …

For all these reasons, the “extraordinary operations” currently being carried out in the Toulouse area due to the spread of dengue fever require some precautions: examination of the treated area, identification of possible watercourses, since the insecticide cannot disperse less than 25 meters from a stream or river , Identification of plots of organic farming that cannot be treated…

Highly monitored global mosquito control

According to ARS, the communities could still decide mosquito control on the adult mosquito, but used with thrift“as some communes in Languedoc do, for example, before holding a major event on their territory”.

Operations that can only be carried out ad hoc and targeted by the community, due to their damage to the environment, but also because they would accentuate with regular use mosquito resistance. Above all, they are very closely monitored by the authorities, especially the prefectures.

Anti-larvae treatment

Despite the complexity of the struggle, some communities are trying things. to Colomiers for example every year three anti-larval treatments are carried out on 18 rainwater catchment areas and bodies of water in the community.

In 2022, the first campaign took place in early May, a second in late June-early July and the third in late August-early September.

“These treatments, carried out with a biological product, are safe for humans and the surrounding fauna and flora. This action is carried out by a specialized service provider as part of an annual public pest control market (mosquitoes, Asian hornets, processionary caterpillars and pigeons),” explains the municipality.

Some municipalities mix the measures

In recent years other communities have tried anti-larvae treatments such as balma and Cugnaux.

Some have mixed multiple solutions, such as Blagnac, with the installation ofe nest trapsthe establishment of mouse-saving nest boxes and the use of biological treatments.

Daily Gestures

In addition to this mix of measures at the municipal level, the ARS naturally insists on the everyday gestures which, carried out by each resident, can make this possible limit multiplication mosquitoes: eliminate places where water can stagnate;Limit bulky waste as much as possible, change the water for plants and flowers once a week or remove coasters from flower pots, replace water in vases with wet sand, check for proper water flow rain and sewage and regularly clean gutters, shafts, gutters and drains, Cover water tanks with a mosquito net or a simple fabric, cover the swimming pools…

At ARS Occitanie, Jean-Sébastien Dehecq reminds us: “The mosquito moves very little in his life, between 30 and 50 meters. If you have mosquitoes at home, it is because they come from your property or from very near land. So everyone can act for themselves or for their neighbors…”

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