Mosquitoes early this year

Recently, the country’s foremost mosquito expert, Willem Takken (Wageningen University), confirmed that this spring is ideal for mosquitoes and it’s going to get worse during the months ahead.

There’s a new buzz in town: mosquitoes. Perhaps you already suffered a sleepless night in 2016? This year is shaping up to be more than just annoying with the little buzzers, as there was a lot of rainfall last winter and early spring, and it wasn’t a very cold winter at all, which ensured more of the biting insects made it through. A lot of ditches and ponds that normally stand dry or dry up quickly are all filled to the brink and these are ideal breeding places for the mosquitoes. If your pond contains fish or a lot of hungry frogs, many of the mosquitoes might never make it into the sky and your bedroom; but there are plenty of places where the insects will be able to reproduce en masse. As you may have noticed, this country is watery. There are plenty of lakes, ponds, and swampy areas.

You can help to keep the numbers of mosquitoes down a little. Some of these measures might surprise you. Car tyres for example. If lying about somewhere, are ideal for mosquitoes to lay eggs in. Or buckets that stand forgotten somewhere in the back of your garden. The insects don’t need much in the way of water. Just a little is enough for them. This does not mean you should empty the bird baths and get rid of your pond or summer pool, but the buckets and tyres are better off being stored dry.

Be especially wary of the (Asian) tiger mosquito (picture), which, due to warmer weather and the mild winter may also be more present. It’s an invasive species. These can transmit some nasty diseases.
If something buzzing lands on you, slap first, then look what you have slapped. Or, if you are really fast, look first, then slap. Just know that a second too late means hours of scratching. Actually, don’t scratch; the itch will be gone soon enough.

You can find more information on Muggenradar.nl. (In Dutch)
Dienstverlening/Leerstoelgroepen/Plantenwetenschappen/Laboratorium-voor-Entomologie-1/Welkom-op-Muggenradar.htm#

There are some plants mosquitoes despise. Lemon balm, lavender, catnip, rosemary… You can even use these in the kitchen and if you have a cat, s/he will be happy too.

Forewarned = forearmed.

Eindhoven News writer: Jeroen

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