Angoulême: citizens take arms against the tiger mosquito

Angoulême: citizens take arms against the tiger mosquito
Angoulême: citizens take arms against the tiger mosquito

“Let’s deprive him of water!” » The slogan is given in the title of the poster published by the club. The idea: remember the right actions to limit the proliferation of the pest. Empty the receptacles to avoid stagnant water where the females lay eggs, clean the gutters and channels, cover the rainwater collectors… Last year, its bites ruined the summer of hundreds of residents of Angoulême. Especially in neighborhoods of houses with gardens, like Saint-Cybard or Saint-Martin.

Raise awareness among your neighbors

On paper, the offensive seems modest. The leaflet will not even be distributed en masse. “It can be downloaded from the city website,” informs Pascal Monier, deputy mayor responsible for ecological transition, at the initiative of the club. The principle of the campaign is set out at the bottom of the document: “Are you impacted by the tiger mosquito? Print this flyer and distribute it to your neighbors. By covering a radius of 150 meters, you cover the mosquito life zone. »

Ensuring that the fight against the insect becomes a subject of discussion between local residents is the ambition of the program. “If the whole neighborhood is made aware, we will be able to have a slightly quieter summer,” says Catherine Revel, deputy mayor responsible for health. “I will distribute (the flyer) in the mailboxes. If everyone goes around their block…”, Benoît Gilles, another member of the collective, begins to dream.

If the entire neighborhood is made aware, we will be able to have a slightly quieter summer.

Véronique Picault has already put the poster on a window of her house in the Saint-Martin district. “People walk past and are stopped. These are small habits to adopt to make a difference. » Last summer, she was deprived of a garden because of the animals. The supporters of the struggle are convinced that their salvation will come from the mobilization of as many people as possible. “No measure is 100% effective,” comments Xavier Bonnefont, the mayor. It is the accumulation of individual actions that makes it possible to slow down proliferation. »

Restricted means of control

Unlike other pests such as the Asian hornet, no massive trapping strategy is planned. Traps with carbon dioxide canisters supposed to imitate human breathing and attract mosquitoes into their nets do exist. “But their scope of action is too limited and does not give convincing results,” dismisses Hélène Barrière, hygiene and public health manager at the City.

The agents also have an anti-larval treatment. But this is only used on equipment “which accommodates a sensitive audience, children for example”, specifies Hélène Barrière. It is also necessary to be able to determine persistent nesting sites, “such as roof terraces, with water flow problems”. Result: in 2023 only one establishment benefited from this treatment.

The City is nevertheless leading the fight. Since 2019, it has made sandboxes available to the public to fill flower pot saucers. She is also conducting a census of bat populations, which are fond of mosquitoes, and will consider installing more nesting boxes.

Despite the dazzlingness of the invasion, Hélène Barrière wants to be positive. “We are able to contain it. For the moment, we have not had any spread of diseases (dengue fever, zika, etc.) in the department. »

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