Mosquito control operations carried out after the declaration of a case of rabies, chikungunya or Zika have significantly decreased this summer in Haute-Garonne due to the reduction in travel abroad linked to Covid.
Rue Bayard and in the alleys around the Place Belfort, in the night from Sunday to Monday, the inhabitants, who were warned a few days ago, may have seen the vehicles of the company Altopictus passing by which dispersed the clouds of ‘insecticides. The same operation, intended to exterminate tiger mosquitoes, took place a few days ago, on the night of July 28 to 29, on Seysses street near the Bellefontaine district and the airport. And on June 23, still in Toulouse, the first mosquito control of the summer was carried out.
The tiger mosquito, which, every year when the good weather returns, destroys the lives of Toulouse residents deprived of their gardens, is also the carrier of three viral diseases: dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika. These diseases, if detected by a doctor or a medical laboratory, require a declaration by the Regional Health Agency (ARS) responsible for combating its spread. And it is in the process, after an investigation carried out on the places frequented by the patient and the presence or absence of tiger mosquitoes, that a mosquito control is decided. This is usually done around the house, within a small radius of 150 meters, and possibly in other sites, as happened on July 28 at the airport where the patient concerned moved.
Mosquitoes in the city
To date in our department, all declared cases of these diseases have been linked to travel abroad. None were due to local contamination.
The particularity of summer 2022, like the two previous ones, is the low number of mosquitoes produced. Three therefore in Haute-Garonne while before the Covid, the ARS diligently “40 to 50”, said Alexandre Pélangeon, engineer responsible for the environmental health service within the delegation of the department of the health agency. For him, Covid, by restricting travel abroad, is the source of this drop. “But we are cautious for September-October in the returns of this summer”, pointed out the manager.
The decrease in mosquito extermination is apparently not representative of the presence of the tiger mosquito that has colonized our department like others. It’s big now. As Altopictus, operator of ARS in Haute-Garonne, explains, the tiger mosquito has become “the most widespread domestic animal in Europe”. “He loved the big cities and suburban areas, specified Alexandre Pélangeon, because he found many places to hide. »
To eliminate this, why not carry out such large-scale mosquito control operations, the population often wonders. “It’s useless, assures the head of the ARS service. You have to start every three days. “Above all, he determined, the mosquito risks developing resistance to the used insecticide, which is the only one authorized to marketing and which, according to ARS, is safe for insects, humans, animals and the environment. Such resistance is tantamount to depriving oneself of the only current weapon of extermination. It is on prevention that the entire attack by the authorities is based public.