Ideal weather for mosquitoes: is the mosquito plague coming?
Heat waves, constant rain, floods: the weather conditions of the past few weeks have provided ideal conditions for mosquitoes. The little bloodsuckers are not dangerous, but they can be quite uncomfortable. Experts have tips on what helps against annoying mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes can spread extremely well thanks to the weather
According to experts, mosquito plague threatens again after two years of low mosquitoes. According to the Düsseldorf parasitologist Prof. Dr. Heinz Mehlhorn currently offers the weather the best conditions for a rapid multiplication of insects. The mosquitoes mainly develop in calm waters such as ponds, pools or rain barrels. In addition, floodplains can become “veritable mosquito breeding stations” because there are “significantly fewer natural predators” for mosquitoes. When it got warm after the cool days, there was a "mass excursion". The expert cannot say how long the plague will last.
Exotic mosquitoes in Germany
Around 3,500 mosquito species are known worldwide, and there are about 50 species in Germany alone. Experts are concerned about the increasing spread of exotic mosquitoes such as the Asian tiger mosquito in Germany, which can transmit numerous pathogens such as viruses, unicellular organisms and roundworms. Infectious diseases such as malaria, yellow fever or Zika are transmitted by mosquitoes, but the risk of getting a disease from a bite in this country is “negligible”. Due to the climatic conditions in Germany, the viruses would not have a chance to spread. The little bloodsuckers are always annoying. Stitches swell, cause red bumps and often severe itching.
Protect yourself from itchy bites
But what can you do to avoid the pests? You can't escape them completely. At least you can often protect yourself against itchy bites. Mehlhorn recommends so-called all-in-one sprays with the active ingredient icaridin. Such preparations are available in pharmacies and are also said to protect against ticks, grass mites and other insects. However, there are obviously large quality differences in the products. Various mosquito repellents often do not provide good protection, as an investigation by the Stiftung Warentest showed.
Important function in the food chain
Furthermore, you can keep insects away from mosquito nets at home or in a tent and protect yourself from bites outdoors with bright, skin-covering clothing. According to research, the bloodsuckers are attracted to bad odors such as sweat or smelly socks. So this should be avoided. If you are stung anyway, you should cool the area. As a home remedy for mosquitoes, you can use a cut onion or some wax to relieve the swelling. Experts advise against using UV lamps and similar electrical insect killers. On the one hand, their effectiveness is limited anyway. And on the other hand, one should not reduce the mosquito population in this country, since the annoying nuisances biologically have a point. For example, their eggs and larvae are an important link in the food chain. (ad)