Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Mosquito nuisance and control in the UK - a questionnaire-based survey of local authorities.

Abstract

As part of ongoing UK surveillance for invasive mosquitoes, and to understand better the incidence of mosquito nuisance in the UK, a questionnaire survey was carried out in 2009 across all UK local authority (LA) environmental health departments (responsible for mosquito control). Two-hundred and twenty-one LAs (64% return) completed the questionnaire and 57 LAs reported evidence of mosquito nuisance incidence in the last 10 years and 29 during the last 12 months. The most common mosquito species implicated were Culiseta annulata, Ochlerotatus detritus, Culex pipiens s.l., Ochlerotatus cantans and Anopheles maculipennis s.l. There was no evidence of nuisance biting attributable to invasive species. Data are compared with previous similar surveys during the 1980s and 1990s, with evidence of more than a two-fold increase in nuisance reports to LAs over the last 10 years, compared to the same period prior to the 1996 survey. Data on mosquito submissions to a nationwide LA recording scheme (Mosquito Watch) are also presented. Despite the lack of evidence of invasive mosquitoes in the UK, endemic species remain a nuisance locally and LAs are encouraged to continue to retain mosquito control expertise and be alerted to the possible incursion of invasive mosquito species, as has occurred in other parts of Europe.