Toulouse. Mosquitoes spoil the summer: why hasn’t general mosquito control been put in place?

Août-septembre est une période sensible à Toulouse et dans son agglo : les moustiques y sont alors particulièrement virulent. Les habitants sont sur les dents...

August-September is a sensitive period in Toulouse and its agglomeration: mosquitoes are particularly virulent there. The inhabitants are on their teeth… (©Illustration/Adobe Stock)

These are the first cases of autochthonous dengue of history in Haute-Garonne. For a week, the municipality of The Salvetat-Saint-Gillesnear Toulouse, you must manage the arrival of this disease linked to the presence of mosquitoes.

mosquito control operations

In a few days, three mosquito control operations was carried out in this municipality in well-targeted areas.

Blagnacfor a case of imported dengue, and Toulousefor a suspected case of dengue, it also carried out special mosquito control operations.

The neighbors of the agglomeration exasperated

In social networks, these operations have had the gift of make residents react of the agglomeration, visibly exasperated by the general invasion of mosquitoes in the territory of Toulouse Métropole. Little anthology…

For Satine, “they are waiting for dengue to arrive and we, north of Toulouse, are devouring ourselves…”.

For Lily, “removing mosquitoes from a street is absolutely useless”. She adds: “It’s the whole town that needs mosquito control. At the end of the summer, it is a bit late, it is around March-April that it has to be done”.

” A columiers, is it for when? Josette asks.

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ToCastelginestin Aucamville, Launaguet, Saint-Orens, Pibrac… Always the same remarks: “We are infected”, “it is a total invasion”, “it is hell, we can no longer enjoy the gardens, nor eat out”.

Camille sums up everyone’s thinking behind the devastated messages: “But in fact, it is all the enlarged agglomeration that must be eliminated by mosquitoes to restore a semblance of serenity to the inhabitants of Toulouse…”

To eliminate mosquitoes from an entire municipality, like some municipalities on the Mediterranean coast, or even from the entire agglomeration? It would be very complicated, for various reasons, replies the Occitanie Regional Health Agency.

“Empty a bathtub with a spoon”

According to Jean-Sebastien Dehecq, ARS Occitanie sanitary engineer, removing mosquitoes from a large area of ​​the Toulouse agglomeration in spring would be like emptying a bathtub filled with a spoon…” He explains:

“The mosquito develops in two stages. The eggs laid in the water hatch into larvae, then the mosquito emerges. However, mosquito control, as practiced, does not completely eliminate larvae in water in spring or early summer. So, during the summer, and especially in the months of August and September when the mosquito population is more numerous, generalizing mosquito control operations in all the municipalities of the agglomeration, and carrying them out on a regular basis, would then haves harmful consequences. In fact, the product used is not selective and twould kill other insects than the mosquitoes. And if it rained, the dispersed product ran off into the water of the streams and also killed aquatic fauna”…

For all these reasons, the “exceptional operations” that are currently being carried out in the Toulouse agglomeration, due to the circulation of dengue, require some precautions: study of the treated area, identification of possible watercourses, since it cannot disperse the insecticide less than 25 meters from a stream or river, identification of plots of organic farming that cannot be treated…

Heavily supervised global mosquito control

According to the ARS, the municipalities however, you could choose mosquito control in the adult mosquito, but used with parsimony“as some municipalities of the Languedoc do before celebrating a major event on their territory, for example”.

Operations that can only be ad hoc, and targeted by municipality, due to their Damage to the environment, but also because by using them regularly, they would accentuate mosquito resistance Above all, they are very strictly supervised by the authorities, in particular the prefectures.

Anti larvae treatment

Despite the complexity of the fight, some municipalities are trying things. A Colomiers For example, every year three antilarval treatments They are carried out in 18 pluvial basins and bodies of water in the municipality.

In 2022, the first campaign took place in early May, a second in late June-early July, and the third in late August-early September.

“These treatments, carried out with a biological product, are safe for humans and the surrounding fauna and flora. This action is carried out by a specialized service provider, as part of an annual public pest control market (mosquitoes, Asian hornets, processionary caterpillars and pigeons)”, explains the municipality.

Some municipalities mix the measures

In recent years, other municipalities have tried antilarval treatments, such as balm Y Cugnaux.

Some have mixed multiple solutions, such as blagnac, with the installation ofe nest trapsthe establishment of nest boxes to keep mice and the use of biological treatments.

daily gestures

In addition to this mixture of measures at the municipal level, the ARS obviously insists on the everyday gestures that, carried out by each inhabitant, can make possible limit multiplication mosquitoes: remove places where water can poollimit bulky waste as much as possible, change the water in plants and flowers once a week, or remove saucers from pots, replace water in vases with moist sand, check for proper water flow rain and sewer and regularly clean gutters, culverts, gutters and drains, cover water tanks with a mosquito net or a simple cloth, cover the pools…

At ARS Occitanie, Jean-Sébastien Dehecq reminds us: “The mosquito moves very little in your life, between 30 and 50 meters. If you have mosquitoes at home, it is because they come from your property or from very close land. Therefore, everyone can act for himself or for his fellows…”

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