Cypriot officials are concerned over a new dangerous flying insect that has been detected in Limassol, after residents reportedly snapped photos of tiger mosquitoes known to thrive in cold weather.
Public health service official Irodotos Irodotou said this week that the Aedes albopictus, known as the tiger mosquito, has been detected in at least six areas in Limassol district and it can survive in cold weather even in temperatures as low as minus two (-2) degrees Celisuis.
A month ago Irodotou had warned about another invasive mosquito found in Larnaca, the Aedes aegypti known for being able to carry the yellow fever virus.
But officials said they were not worried about Larnaca because the yellow fever mosquito, which could potentially transmit other infectious diseases under certain conditions, was not expected to survive cold weather.
Tiger mosquito bites can be painful according to experts while Irodotou said skin irritation was also possible
“In Larnaca district there is a window of a month and a half until temperatures begin to drop below 16 degrees and we hope that we will be able to eliminate Aedes Aegypti,” the official said.
“But the difficulty is in Limassol,” the Irodotou said.
State officials have reportedly been focusing on ways to keep mosquito numbers down in Limassol.
Irodotou went on to clarify that there were no known viruses currently in Cyprus that could be transmitted by the tiger mosquito.
“But the problem is that these mosquitoes in large numbers would be a nuisance as the tiger mosquito bites during the day,” he said.
Tiger mosquito bites can be painful according to experts while Irodotou said skin irritation was also possible.
Last month officials speculated that the pesky pests most likely reached the island by plane.