The Public Health Administration of the City of Valencia is the newest member of a group of public entities supporting and using the Mosquito Alert platform, supported by Obra Social “la Caixa”, and will work with citizen-generated information about the tiger mosquito. The announcement was made by the Health Counselor Maite Girau on July 13th 2017 during the unveiling of a new app called BichosAvis which was created by the city so that citizens can alert about pests and city services may respond accordingly.
Residents of Valencia now have two apps at their disposal for alerting about pests in the city. On one hand, BiochosAvis, designed by the city government, allows citizens to create alerts about city pests such as fleas, rats, or tiger mosquitos. Health Councilor Maite Girau also noted that the city will begin to use data generated by the Mosquito Alert app and citizen science platform coordinated by CREAF, CEAB-CSIC, and ICREA, and supported by Obra Social “la Caixa”. Using this app, anyone can report tiger mosquito sightings in public areas, improving tracking of this pest’s expansion.
Beginning in September 2015, the city of Valencia began using the app to report observations of tiger mosquitos or breeding sites. For example, in 2015 40% of new risk areas identified in the city were detected thanks to citizen observations sent using the Mosquito Alert app. With the new management portal, the city will have greater access to the reports and if necessary can get in touch with residents in order to carry out prevention or control measures.
According to Girau, this development completes a comprehensive plan for dealing more firmly with pests, complemented by new treatments and the inclusion of technologies which facilitate pinpointing and reduced response times. “Relationships with the citizenry is crucial for pest control, allowing us to attend to complaints and act as quickly as possible,” says the Counselor, who also reiterated that in addition to the traditional channels “we now introduce new technologies to make progress in more effective management.”
Attending the announcement ceremony was Frederic Bartumeus, Director of Mosquito Alert, and Rubén Bueno of Lokímica, the company charged with pest control in the city of Valencia and which will assume a management role in the Mosqutio Alert management platform unveiled in May 2017.
The City of Valencia is now the third public administration in Spain using the Mosquito Alert management platform as a channel for mosquito-related incidents, joining The Barcelona Public Health Agency and Dipsalut, the public health administration of Girona.