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Aedes albopictus, commonly known as Tiger Mosquito, is a black-coloured insect with characteristic white stripes on the body.Particularly aggressive against human beings, the Tiger Mosquito is active during daytime especially in the early morning and late afternoon fresh hours. It is very annoying  for people who usually stay outdoors in these hours.  

Origins of the Tiger Mosquito

Aedes albopictus, commonly known as Tiger Mosquito, is a black-coloured insect with characteristic white stripes on the body.In the tropical regions the Tiger Mosquito can be vector of serious diseases. In Emilia Romagna a Chikungunya outbreak developed in summer 2007. This episode shows that the problem is now present in Europe as well. 


Natural enviroment and travel to Italy

The Tiger Mosquito is native of Eastern Asian regions, where it developed in the rainforest. Its ability to colonize different habitats from the original ones habitats depends on its extraordinary biological plasticity, which enables it to realize very efficient adaptation processes. The first detection in Europe took place in Albany. It arrived in Italy in 1990, in Genoa, with a cargo of used tires, on which the mosquitoes had laid their eggs. In Emilia-Romagna it was observed in 1994 for the first time. In little more than a decade the Tiger Mosquito colonized most territory. 


The colonization of the territory
The colonization of a territory by Tiger Mosquito is a gradual process that lasts several years.  

Life cycle
Like all other mosquitoes, the Tiger Mosquito has a life cycle composed of 4 stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult.The last aquatic stage of the Tiger Mosquito, the pupal stage, can last between 2 and 4 days, according to temperature.The passage from the egg stage to the definitive emerging of the adult takes 6-8 days in summer. In spring and autumn it takes longer, up to 15-20 days. 

Ovitraps:a study instrument
The ovitrap is a necessary instrument to observe the Tiger Mosquito, to monitor its populations and, consequently, to direct the fight campaign.
The masonite strips are periodically lifted up in order to count the eggs laid by the mosquitoes. In this way an accurate estimation of the mosquito populations is feasible. 

Prevention and fight
It is very important to know the biology and the habits of the Tiger Mosquito in order to prevent its spread. But it is not enough to stop its progress.Above all, the fight against the Tiger Mosquito cannot be exclusively led by Public Administration, as it has been demonstrated that active outbreaks on public areas represent only 20-30 % of the whole municipal territory.
Besides eliminating stagnant water, it is also necessary to plan periodical treatments with special products that prevent the larvae development.  

The tiger mosquito and Chikungunya
For the first time in Europe an autochthonous outbreak of Chikungunya developed during 2007. It is a disease caused by a virus spread by Tiger Mosquito bites. Chikungunya is an African term meaning a man “which bends up”.
The first European outbreak was described in Emilia Romagna in August 2007, in the villages of Castiglione di Cervia and Castiglione di Ravenna.  

The prevention campaign
Prevention and treatment activities carried out by institutions are not enough. Active participation of citizens is required. They should take their responsibility in fighting the Tiger Mosquito. 

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