Mosquito specialists from Wageningen University are asking people to send in beaten mosquitoes. They investigate, among other things, which mosquitoes cause nuisance in the winter and whether they carry pathogens.
Previous research has shown that a variant of the common house mosquito, the Culex pipiens molestus, does not go into hibernation and survives in crawl spaces, for example.
This mosquito causes a lot of nuisance and this was also evident in recent weeks from many reports on mosquito radar.nl, the site where people can report mosquito nuisance. The scientists now want to know whether the extremely cold week that has just passed has an effect on mosquito populations.
Mosquitoes drink the blood of birds in the summer. They can carry the West Nile virus. In this way, seven infections surfaced last year in the vicinity of Utrecht and Arnhem. The virus, which can cause a very serious infection, had never occurred before in the Netherlands.
By examining blood that beaten mosquitoes still have with them, the researchers may be able to say something about the chance that this virus will reappear this summer. They are also looking for the usutu virus, a mosquito-borne infection that blackbirds succumb to on a large scale.
Dead mosquitoes can be sent in until March 16. You can find out exactly how to do this on the website from Wageningen University.