What types of mosquitoes are there in Spain?
Mosquitoes are a real enemy for everyone, especially when the good weather arrives. They usually come with bites and the annoying noise when night falls. They are not a unified group, but consist of almost 3,500 species, of which 4 are almost at ease in the geography of our country. In this post we are going to indicate the types of mosquitoes in Spain.
Why is there concern about the mosquito in Spain?
There are about 3,500 species of mosquitoes worldwide, and only about 200 of them have arrived in the world to feed on blood. Of this small group, 4 are a problem for humans. The bad luck is that we have these 4 species in Spain.
The Aedes albopictus mosquito or tiger mosquito which transmits Zika, yellow fever and dengue appeared in 2004 in Catalonia and, since then, has been spreading along the entire Levant coast. In recent times, specimens of the Aedes Aegypti species, the yellow fever mosquito, have also been detected in the Canary Islands. Finally, Anopheles transmits malaria and some groups have also been detected in our country. And, finally, the common mosquito or Culex Pipiens has been at home throughout the country for a long time now.
Types of mosquitoes in our country
Next, we are going to talk about the main types of mosquitoes that we can find in our country, to a greater or lesser extent:
Common mosquito or "Culex pipiens".
As its name indicates, it is the most common and numerous species of mosquito in our country. It lives in humid areas and feeds on blood. When it bites, it usually does so at night (females are the ones that actually bite in order to reproduce) attracted by body odor, bacteria on the skin or carbon dioxide.
This species can measure 3 to 6 mm and can survive in sewage water. Females can lay up to 1,000 eggs in their lifetime and are not an aggressive mosquito species, but their bites can transmit diseases that can be fatal.
Tiger mosquito or "Aedes albopictus".
It belongs to the Culicidae family and has a recognizable black body color and a white line running down the abdomen to the head. It has a larger size than the common mosquito, from 5 to 10 mm and, although it is native to Southeast Asia, it has spread today throughout Africa, America and Europe.
In Spain, the first specimen was detected in Sant Cugat del Vallés (Catalonia) in 2004 and, since then, it has occupied large areas of the Catalan and Valencian coastline and the Balearic Islands. Unlike other species, it is active during the day and tends to itch in the legs and ankles and is painful. It breeds in containers with stagnant water (buckets, jugs, dishes with water, etc.) and in areas of sewers and fountains.
It is the main carrier of dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever viruses, among other diseases. It is often confused with the tiger mosquito because it has white markings along its thorax. However, the tiger mosquito has a single white line, while the Aedes Aegypti has white spots in 4 rows along the thorax.
It tends to sting its victim several times, proliferates in stagnant waters and is very active during the day.
Only 19 species of this genus have been found in Europe. According to the Malaria Status and Risk Assessment Report for Spain, published in 2015, Anopheles Astroparvus is quite common in the Iberian Peninsula.
They are the only ones that transmit malaria and prefer clean water and dark colors. Females are capable of laying 50 to 150 in a single blood meal and the life cycle lasts 6 to 15 days.
It is characterized by long legs and dark wing markings. When calm, it rests at a 45º angle to the surface.
What do I do to combat mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are everywhere in our country, but we can find them everywhere. solutions to repel and scare them away:
- Mosquito nets. Most stings occur inside the home. A practical and effective solution is to opt for mosquito nets to prevent the entry and attack of these insects. We can find a multitude of models for windows and doors.
- Mosquito repellent. We can find a wide range of products to protect us against mosquitoes. These elements prevent mosquitoes from approaching and can be repellents, bracelets, patches or sprays.
- Insecticide. They are chemical products to kill these insects in a fast and effective way. It is widely used in homes and we can find a multitude of brands and for specific species such as the tiger mosquito.
- Pest control. We can rely on professionals (or ourselves) to eliminate any signs of larvae or pupae to reduce and eliminate the proliferation of mosquitoes near the home.
In conclusion, the four species of mosquitoes mentioned are of concern, but we can prevent their bites and their entry into the home by using items such as mosquito nets and repellents and reduce as much as possible the risk of worrying diseases and painful bites.
Warning! Preventing mosquito-borne diseases is crucial to your health and your family. Keep your home clean and free of mosquito breeding sites. Also, install insect screens on doors and windows to prevent their entry. The sliding mosquito nets. Don't risk contracting diseases like dengue or Zika. Act now and protect your home with these simple but effective measures!