Tiger Mosquito

Paris, the capital city of France, has taken a significant step by fumigating its surroundings for the first time. This action aims to curb the spread of disease-carrying tiger mosquitoes, which made their initial appearance in France back in 2004. The move comes after years of battling the menace of tiger mosquitoes, especially in the southern regions of France.

This topic of “Tiger Mosquito” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

Understanding the Tiger Mosquito

Scientific Identity

  • The tiger mosquito, scientifically known as Aedes albopictus, is the focus of this effort to control its population.

Distinctive Features

  • These mosquitoes are characterized by distinctive white bands on both their legs and bodies.
  • Their bodies are long and segmented, and they have paired wings.

Feeding Behavior

  • Tiger mosquitoes are known to be active during the daytime, as well as during the periods of dusk and dawn.
  • They are aggressive feeders and pose a threat to human health due to their biting behavior.

Significance of the Tiger Mosquito

Invasive Species

  • The tiger mosquito is considered an invasive species in many regions where it has been introduced.

Disease Transmission

  • These mosquitoes are notorious for their capability to transmit several dangerous diseases, including:
    • Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
    • Zika virus
    • West Nile virus
    • Chikungunya
    • Dengue fever

Distribution and Spread

Origin and Tropical Habitat

  • The tiger mosquito originates from tropical areas of Southeast Asia.

Expansion in Europe

  • The spread of tiger mosquitoes in Europe has been linked to climate change, which has created favorable conditions for their expansion.
  • The expansion of tiger mosquitoes across Europe has been rapid, with their presence becoming more prominent since the beginning of this century.
  • Notably, tiger mosquitoes have been identified in countries such as France, Germany, and Switzerland.

Climate Factors

  • Warmer weather associated with climate change shortens the incubation period for the eggs of these mosquitoes, leading to faster population growth.
  • Milder winters fail to provide the cold temperatures necessary to suppress the mosquito population.

Paris Takes Action: The Importance of Fumigation

First-time Fumigation in Paris

  • Paris has taken the significant step of fumigating its surroundings to control the spread of tiger mosquitoes.
  • This action is motivated by the need to address the threat of disease transmission posed by these mosquitoes.
  • The tiger mosquito’s first appearance in France dates back to 2004, and the southern regions of the country have been grappling with their presence for years.

Comparative Challenges

  • The southern parts of France, particularly susceptible to tiger mosquito infestations, have experienced fumigation efforts to combat this menace.

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