DEADLY Asian tiger mosquitoes are set to take hold in the UK, one disease expert has warned.
A single bite allows the mosquitoes to produce up to 200 eggs, so it’s important you know how to keep their bites at bay.
Leading bite prevention expert and governmental adviser, Howard Carter said the pesky insects are found in the UK every summer and that it wouldn’t take long for them to wreak havoc on Brits.
All possible entry points for the Asian tiger mosquitoes are monitored from June, Public Health England (PHE) states, but travel could mean they make their way onto British shores.
Mr Carter explains: “On the continent the two Aedes species are found throughout the warmer climates.
“So it’s very important that everyone who is susceptible to bites protect themselves in order to limit the chances of these invasive species taking hold.”
HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF?
Mr Carter says there are a number of things you can do to make sure you don’t fall prey to mosquitoes.
“A lot of mosquitoes zero in on the ears, wrists and ankles and they currently have more of a chance to do this because people are scantily dressed.
“Mosquitoes choose these areas because this is where the skin is thinner and blood vessels are nearer the surface; which is one of the reasons women generally get bitten more than men.
“So, it is a good idea to wash with products that contain citronella, then spray with a PMD-based insect repellent such as, incognito.”
He added that you should also use a moisturiser containing citronella, but for maximum effect you should use the spray last.
“If used correctly this will give anyone 100 per cent protection – even for those that are finding that nothing works.
“DEET (N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) no longer gives total protection as some mosquitoes have become resistant to it”, he added.
While spritzing yourself with your favourite fragrance might seem like a nice thing to freshen up during the summer months, Mr Carter says you should avoid all fragrances.
This he says, is because some perfumes, such as lavender combinations actually attract them.
He added: “Be aware that most toiletries and sunscreens, along with most fabric softeners contain scent. Be aware of your odour output!
“Use protection on any exposed skin and spray your clothing as well; mosquitoes can and will bite through fabric, even thick jeans!
“Spray an insect repellent on and around your back door or your summerhouse door before entering, as mosquitoes often lie in wait on the outside of doors and windows and this simple procedure helps to keep them out.
“Ensure you wear light coloured clothing and cover up your skin as much as possible.”
France is currently an amber list country in the UK, the government says you should not travel to amber list countries or territories.
If you are returning from France though you do have to quarantine for 10 days on arrival, as well as taking tests.
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Mr Carter said that if you do travel to France, as many British holidaymakers do each year, then you need to be aware that during the pandemic the Aedes species of mosquito increased in France by 50 per cent and is now covering three quarters of the country.
He explained: “The Aedes aegypti mosquito can carry dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika and other mosquito borne diseases.
A single bite gives the mosquito enough blood to reproduce 200 eggs, these then turn into larvae (in stagnant water) and then into hungry nymphs.”