ENVIRONMENTALISTS working for the Murcian government, have introduced a new secret weapon in their war against the dreaded Tiger Mosquito this year… bats.
We’re not talking baseball bats here, we are referring to the furry creatures that fly around at night and hang upside down when they sleep.
According to Felipe Coello, head of the Health Department of the City, who presented the campaign ‘We all fight against the tiger mosquito’, bats are great collaborators in the fight as they are known to eat up to 1000 mosquitos in one night.
With this in mind the council will install nesting sites in strategic locations where the bats can breed more personnel to fight the battle.
Other measures announced by Coello when he revealed the initiative to the Spanish press this week, are the use of helicopters to map the municipality and drones to access difficult to reach areas where the mosquitos are known to breed.
The Tiger Mosquito (Aedes Albopictus) gives a particularly painful bite that cancause nasty allergic reactions in some cases. Small children suffer the most for obvious reasons.
The council are focusing their efforts on eradication via identification of the larvae, rather than wholesale fumigations with insecticides which can be harmful to health and can result in the mosquitos building up resistance.
The Tiger Mosquito grows in small isolated spaces, so the operation will concentrate on areas of stagnant water.
Coello admitted that the heavy rains of last Winter are expected to bring extra problems this year and asked for co-operation from citizens and tourists in the area.
An educational campaign targetting all citizens has been launched campaign via distributing of information in travel agencies, associations, libraries, educational centres, schools, doctors and pharmacies.
To help with the problem, people are also requested to avoid containers that can accumulate water, such as buckets or drums, screen water tanks, maintain chlorine levels in swimming pools and ponds, regularly clean terrace and roof gutters and try to avoid Flooding with irrigation.
Advice for avoiding bites from the Tiger Mosquito include a recommendation to use repellents, especially on the legs, to take care of bodily hygiene, drape mosquito nets on the windows and to use electrical devices against insects.
Alternatively, you could always buy a couple of pet bats.
Anyone who thinks they have spotted a Tiger Mosquito breeding ground or stagnat water they may lay their larvae is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 968 24 70 62