Mosquito control operations carried out after the declaration of a case of crazy, chikungunya or Zika are down sharply this summer in Haute-Garonne due to the drop in travel abroad linked to Covid.
Rue Bayard and in the alleys around Place Belfort, during the night from Sunday to Monday, the inhabitants, who had been warned a few days earlier, may have seen the vehicles of the Altopictus company pass by which sprayed clouds of ‘insecticide. The same operation, intended to eradicate tiger mosquitoes, took place a few days earlier, on the night of July 28 to 29, on the Seysses road near the Bellefontaine district and at 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 fine weather returns, ruins the lives of Toulouse residents deprived of their gardens, is also the vector of three viral diseases: dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika. These diseases, when detected by a doctor or a medical laboratory, require a declaration to the Regional Health Agency (ARS) responsible for combating their spread. And it is in the process, after an investigation carried out on the places frequented by the patient and the presence or not of tiger mosquitoes, that a mosquito control is decided. This is generally done around the home, within a fairly small radius of 150 meters, and possibly other sites, as was the case on July 28 at the airport where the patient concerned had transited.
Until now in our department, all declared cases of these diseases were linked to a trip abroad. None are due to local contamination.
The particularity of summer 2022, like the two previous ones, is the low number of mosquito eradications carried out. Three therefore in Haute-Garonne whereas before the Covid, the ARS diligent “40 to 50”, observes Alexandre Pélangeon, engineer responsible for the environmental health service within the departmental delegation of the health agency. For him, the Covid, by restricting travel abroad, is at the origin of this drop. “But we are vigilant for September-October with the returns of this summer”, underlines the person in charge.
The decrease in mosquito eradications is obviously not representative of the presence of the tiger mosquito which has colonized our department like many others. It is now massive. As Altopictus, operator for the ARS in Haute-Garonne explains, the tiger mosquito has become “the most widespread domestic animal in Europe”. “He loves big cities and suburban areas, specifies Alexandre Pélangeon, because he finds many places to hide. »
To get rid of them, why not carry out such large-scale mosquito control operations, the population regularly wonders. “It would be useless, assures the head of the service to the ARS. You would have to start over every three days. “Above all, he specifies, the mosquito would risk developing resistance to the insecticide used, which is the only one that has a marketing authorization and which is, according to the ARS, safe for the insect. man, animals and the environment. Such resistance would amount to depriving oneself of the only current weapon of eradication. It is on prevention that the whole counter-attack of the public authorities is based.