gestión

Mosquito Alert collaborates with a Spanish association of pest control businesses

  • The Spanish National Association for Environmental Health Businesses (ANECPLA by its Spanish acronym) will contribute the knowledge of professional pest control agents to Mosquito Alert’s popular platform for citizen science and mosquito control.
  • A collaboration agreement was signed on May 30th in Bellaterra, Catalonia, by representatives from the association, the Mosquito Alert team, and CREAF as project coordinator.
El director del CREAF, Javier Retana (izda.) y Presidente de ANECPLA, Aurelio Abril (dcha.), en el momento de la firma del convenio.

The director of CREAF, Javier Retana (left) and ANECPLA’s President, Aurelio Abril (right), attending the agreement.

 

ANECPLA has signed a collaboration agreement with CREAF, research center and coordinator of the citizen science project Mosquito Alert (supported by Obra Social “La Caixa”). The signing of the agreement took place on May 30th in Bellaterra, Spain, between the president of ANECPLA, Aurelio Abril, and CREAF director Javier Retana. Also present were the general director of ANECPLA Milagros Fernández de Lezeta, representative for the association in Catalonia David Rubio, director and principal investigator of Mosquito Alert Dr. Frederic Bartumeus, Mosquito Alert entomologist Dr. Roger Eritja, and project communications team member Marina Torres.

ANECPLA president Aurelio Abril stated he was “very happy to be able to collaborate in the important work carried out by CREAF and other organizations within the Mosquito Alert project, bringing together science and citizen collaboration for the good of public health.” CREAF’s director Javier Retana signaled how “the incorporation of ANECPLA to Mosquito Alert strengthens our mission,” and hopes that this will “lead to the acquisition of more data.” Frederic Bartumeus added that “this collaboration will allow us to expand possibilities for reporting and improve predictions about the tiger mosquito in the future.”

De izquierda a derecha: Milagros Fernández de Lezeta, directora general de ANECPLA; David Rubio, vocal en Cataluña de la asociación; Dr. Javier Retana, director del CREAF; Dr. Roger Eritja, entomólogo de Mosquito Alert; Dr. Frederic Bartumeus, director e investigador principal de Mosquito Alert y Aurelia Abril, Presidente de ANECPLA.

From left to right: Milagros Fernández, general director of ANECPLA; David Rubio, Catalonia area of ANECPLA; Dr. Javier Retana, director of CREAF; Dr. Roger Eritja, entomologist of Mosquito Alert; Dr. Frederic Bartumeus, director of Mosquito Alert and Aurelio Abril, President of ANECPLA.

 

It is expected that the agreement will increase use of the Mosquito Alert mobile device application, not only by ANECPLA pest control business members, but also among citizens and municipalities where these companies operate. The partners will also carry out joint communication and awareness-raising activities within Spain, aimed at informing the public and the sector about the new collaboration.

Educational programs are also planned, and data generated by Mosquito Alert may serve as a source of information for ANECPLA for future information-sharing and data analysis, with the possibility of creating predictive models of Aedes (the genus of problematic mosquito species) distribution and proliferation which will help in risk reduction and population control.

 

anecpla

ANECPLA

 

ANECPLA (Asociación Nacional de Empresas de Sanidad Ambiental) was created in 1992 and currently has 450 member companies, representing approximately 85% of the market share for this sector in Spain. The objectives of the association are reinforce professionalism of the sector’s work to protect public health and the environment, and fight against the entry of unqualified actors into the profession.

Original press note in Spanish

 

Available the Mosquito Alert annual report 2016

The document brings together the results of all the activities carried out by the project during 2016 on citizen participation, scientific activity, expert validation, maps, data, education and internationalisation among other innovations.

First, the project has incorporated the yellow fever mosquito as another target species, in addition to the well-known tiger mosquito. We have worked on a new map of observations that will allow to expand the activities of surveillance and control of the tiger mosquito and the yellow fever mosquito by the responsible entities. We have also improved the Mosquito Alert app and every time we receive more and better tiger mosquito observations. Finally, this 2016 has also been important to take the first steps towards the internationalisation of the project and we have been released in the educational field.

Ibiza includes the Mosquito Alert app in its campaign to control the tiger mosquito

The five city governments of the island of Ibiza and the regional Ibiza Council government have unveiled a response plan for combatting the proliferation of the tiger mosquito. The project is financed by the five municipalities of the island, coordinated by the Council and carried out by the public agency TRAGSA, and will be carried out between August and November 2016.

Eivissa

The tiger mosquito arrived at the isl mosquito tigre llegó a la isla de Eivissa en 2014.

This response plan against the tiger mosquito includes the installation of a network of 100-150 traps for capturing deposited eggs as well as adult mosquitos. Depending on the number of reports received and results of monitoring, the number of traps could be increased to 200.

In public spaces where breeding sites are detected, treatments of insecticides targeting mosquito larvae will be applied. In specific cases in which there is a high presence of tiger mosquito in residential or vulnerable areas – including daycares, schools, retirement homes, or hospitals – treatments to reduce the mosquito’s population will also be considered.

“The objective is to significantly reduce the presence of the mosquito in order to eliminate the nuisance that it is causing among citizens,” explains Ibiza Council biologist Jaume Estarellas, who said that 80 traps have already been installed on the island.

 

Use of the app will aid the campaign

For private property, neighborhood residents and will be counseled on the measures they can take themselves. An awareness and dissemination campaign will be made through social media, local and public media outlets, and technical training meetings will also be organized with neighborhood associations. As stated by the Ibiza Council’s Minister of Environment, Miquel Vericad, “Citizen collaboration is crucial.” “Institutions can take action in the public space, but it is very important that each citizen, within the bounds of their private property, do as much as possible to avoid the creation of tiger mosquito breeding sites.”

To aid the campaign, it is recommended that the general public use the Mosquito Alert app since this will help detect breeding hot spots and individual adult mosquitos. Telephone numbers to request technical assistance have also been set up at Tragsa (629319361 and 618.650.436) and at the Ibiza Council Department of Environment (971.195.500).

3 steps to start with Mosquito Alert

With the Mosquito Alert app you can send observations of tiger mosquitoes or yellow fever mosquitoes, including GPS location and the photographs. You can also do this if you see public places with mosquito larvae, especially storm drain, or other public places which could be possible breeding sites of these two species. This information is useful for scientists to study how these mosquitoes are distributed geographically. In addition, governments and environmental and public health managers can make use of the data and learn where there are problems in order to act.

1) Find tiger mosquitos or yellow fever mosquitos

They are small and dark with white stripes. The tiger mosquito has 1 single white stripe on the head and yellow fever has several white stripes in the form of a lyre. We will help you to identify them!

Credits: J. Luis Ordóñez CC BY NC 2.0

2) Discover breeding sites

They hide in containers or small spaces with stagnant water. We seek reports of breeding sites in public places, especially storm drainsRead more details here.

3) Send your observations

Photographing mosquitoes: to catch a mosquito, try to trap it in a pot or cup. Then, if you can, hold it by the legs, zoom in and try to make the stripes of the head and chest visible. You can also add pictures from other angles.

Reporting breeding sites: add a picture of the breeding site itself and one of the general area. Also, if you can, add another photo showing water or larvae inside the breeding site if this can be seen.

Discover other tips!

We are expanding our objectives after a highly successful 2015

Two years after its birth, the project has proven to be an effective tool for studying and controlling the spread of the tiger mosquito in Spain, as well other tools developed and actions taken. Good results have permitted expansion of project goals, and beginning in March 2016, thanks to support from Obra Social “la Caixa”, we have proposed to provide early detection of the arrival of the yellow fever mosquito.

Informe Anual Mosquito Alert 2015

Mosquito Alert Annual Repport 2015

Since 2014, more than 16,000 people have downloaded the Mosquito Alert mobile device application and provided more than 5,700 observations of possible tiger mosquitos and 770 breeding site notifications. 40% of the observations received in 2015 were considered by experts as possible or confirmed tiger mosquitos by means of analysis of photos accompanying the observation reports: this means that citizens carry out well-documented observations and that they know how to identify the species.

Thanks to agreements with key Spanish public health organizations and agencies, Mosquito Alert data were in some cases used for direct management of this disease vector. We have established collaborative partnerships with the Public Health Agency of Barcelona and the City of Valencia. In Barcelona in 2015, 280 notifications of adult tiger mosquitos and breeding sites were received. Of these, 20% were considered useful for the PHAB and led to some type of action within the monitoring and control program for the species. In Valencia, by way of the Sanitation and Health Agency and in collaboration with the Lokímica company, reports sent with Mosquito Alert were included in the 2015 tiger mosquito vigilance and control campaign. 40% of the new sites of tiger mosquito activity within the city limits were detected and dealt with thanks to Mosquito Alert.

You have helped us detect tiger mosquitos in new places

According to the latest citizen data, the tiger mosquito is found in more than 360 Spanish cities, and Catalonia is the Autonomous Community with the most affected cities. Thanks to citizen collaboration, the mosquito’s extended presence along the coastlines has been confirmed (including Catalonia, Valencia, and Murcia). We also know that the mosquito has advanced northeastward, including the island of Majorca, and that it is propagating from the eastern and southern parts of the country towards the interior. Also, arrivals of the tiger mosquito to Andalucia, Aragon, and the province of Lleida were confirmed for the first time thanks to citizen notifications. Early detection of the species is hugely important for planning and expansion of control measures.


Do you want to know more?

Download the Annual Report at the Publications side


Expansion of the tiger mosquito can only be stopped with greater control measures

10 years after its first detection, the tiger mosquito is already established and expanding along the Spanish Mediterranean coast. A study has revealed the necessity to coordinate urgent control measures on a large scale in order to avoid further public health issues. To this end, public participation has been recognized as a helpful resource for fighting against the invader.

(more…)

Mosquito Alert puts itself on display for international experts in citizen science

The third meeting of ECSA (European Citizen Science Association) brought together a hundred attendees and a large variety of citizen science projects from around the world. AtrapaelTigre.com and Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB) participated in the Citizen Science Safari to show their work to the attendees.

Over three days from Wednesday October 28th through Friday October 30th, around 100 people from Europe, Australia, the United States, and Latin America joined in the activities of the Third General Meeting of the European Association for Citizen Science (ECSA), which took place in Barcelona. “This has been an opportunity to learn about different projects from all around the world and exchange experiences with representatives of the European Union,” said Frederic Bartemus, director of AtrapaelTigre.com.

The members of the AtrapaelTigre.com team are confident that this international encounter will help to strengthen citizen science.

“Citizen science makes it possible to get people involved in a scientific project by making them observers,” explains Aitana Oltra, AtrapaelTigre.com project coordinator. According to John Palmer, developer and data analyst, “this is a good way to get a large sampling of scientific data, and this is very useful for studying this insect.”

The safari, the star event

Wednesday afternoon the participants divided into groups and headed towards Barcelona’s Parc de la Ciutadella to get involved in projects first hand. AtrapaelTigre.com team members and technicians from the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB) carried out a demonstration of their work by simulating a citizen alert of tiger mosquito and breeding site using the Mosquito Alert app.

The participants followed instructions in order to send a report using Tigatrapp and later they observed the tools and methodology used by the technicians in order to detect the larvae and apply treatments. “The reports that we get from the application help us detect the tiger mosquito breeding risk areas in Barcelona. The Parc de la Cituadella, for example, is one of those areas”, explained Lídia Fernández, ASPB technician.

Citizen science on the table

The event also featured debates about the main challenges facing citizen science, thematic talks, project presentations, and workshops. According to Josep Perelló, coordinator of the Citizen Science Office of Barcelona Laboratori (BCNLab), who participated in the organization of the meeting, “we want institutions and universities to understand that citizen science is important for society since it enables people to contribute to research in an active and real manner.”

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Mosquito Alert coordinators

ICREA
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