With a budget of 3.2 million euros, the Mosquito Control Service of the Huelva Provincial Council It covers an area of ​​just over 225,000 hectares, of which around 6 percent are protected natural spaces. There are twelve municipalities in the province that, coordinated by the Provincial Council, are integrated into the annual mosquito control projects: Aljaraque, Almonte, Ayamonte, Cartaya, Gibraleón, Huelva, Isla Cristina, Lepe, Moguer, Palos de la Frontera, Punta Umbria, and San Juan del Puerto.

Annual plan against mosquitoes

During the winter months and much of the autumn, work is carried out to manage the territory in the floodable areas, consisting of cleaning and removing sediment from the natural drainage networks in the tidal marshes, and clearing the vegetation there where it represents a brake on the flow of tidal waters or those of precipitation.

In summer, the restoration tasks of the hydrological network are undertaken with mechanical means, maintaining an effort that has been increased in recent years. In this campaign they will exceed 8,000 meters of regenerated riverbeds, which will reduce the areas suitable for breeding mosquitoes, reducing dependence on the use of biocides, while recovering faunal biodiversity in the tidal marshes.

This increases the endogenous resources that contribute to the biological control of pest species, also favoring carbon fixation and the resilience of estuarine environments in the face of adverse situations such as torrential rains or high tides of spring tides that reach exceptional heights.

With the arrival of spring and until the end of October, the increase in ambient temperatures causes the start of control treatments through the use of biocides; During 2022, it is planned to treat approximately 5,000 hectares in applications aimed at controlling mosquito larvae, either with land or aerial means (planes and drones) in the floodable breeding areas, and some 3,000 hectares in treatments aimed at adult mosquitoes. , through barrier applications in green areas and gardens, and fogging in peri-urban areas bordering the salt marshes of the coast, completing a set of prints or images with which the citizens of the coast are familiar, and from which visitors and tourists benefit. they represent an increase of 82 percent over the permanent resident population, reaching 645,000 inhabitants.

Surveillance activities focus primarily on monitoring adult mosquito populations, thanks to the maintenance of a network of trapping stations that enables the spatial distribution of the main mosquito species to be identified, and the effectiveness of control measures to be evaluated. During the past year, more than 56,500 mosquitoes were captured, distributed in just under 1,000 samples; From the samples obtained, it is analyzed by molecular entomology techniques, with the main objective of determining the circulation of viruses that can have an impact on health.

Since last year 2021, the Service has also been designing and preparing a Territorial Plan for Surveillance and Comprehensive Control of West Nile Fever Vectors, which incorporates all the municipalities in the province that are at risk levels 2 and 4, established by the Ministry of Health and Families.

mosquitoes reaches hectares President’s visit

The president of the Diputación, María Eugenia Limón, has underlined the “great work” that the Pest Control Service carries out throughout the year to combat the population of mosquitoes in the province of Huelva. According to her, the creation of the Service marked “a before and after in the quality of life of Huelva residents and visitors, especially in the summer months, in which the coastal areas, mosquito infestations, represented an adverse factor for the sightseeing”.

Limón has visited the marshland environment of the Muelle de las Carabelas to see on the ground the work carried out within the Mosquito Control Plan, a wide range of control strategies that are developed from January to December “aimed at limiting the development of mosquito plagues in all the coastal municipalities, together with those others in the interior that are located on the banks of the main estuaries”.

The president, accompanied by the deputy for the Environment, Rosa Tirador, has learned the informative data on the production process of mosquito pests and their production areas, as well as control techniques. In the surroundings of the Muelle de las Carabelas, with lagoons and marshes of great ecological value, she has learned the techniques of treatments with motorized equipment and larval control treatments with backpacks, on foot.

Limón thanked the Service’s workers for their work “which, although not known throughout the world, has more than thirty years of experience and of which the entire province of Huelva should feel proud, since it is a benchmark at the national and international”. The Service has a staff of 60 people, including applicator operators, administrative staff, technicians and doctors, all of whom have extensive professional experience.