Issue 1/2020, 116. Volume Page 67–81
Asian Tiger Mosquitoes as Undesired Cross-Border Commuters. Invasive Species and the Regulation of (Bio-)Insecurities in Europe
Invasive Spezies und die Regulierung von (Bio-)Unsicherheiten in Europa
Similar to other animals, the Asian tiger mosquito has a particular biography. It is one of the most recent infamous additions to European wildlife (along with other unpopular invaders such as tramp slugs and killer shrimp). Originating in South-East Asia, tiger mosquitoes managed to spread to Africa, the Americas, Oceania and Europe by travelling along global trade and traffic routes. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has classified Tiger Mosquitoes as invasive species believed to cause “economic or environmental impact or harm to human health” – the insects are able to serve as vectors for a number of infectious diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. This article draws on ethnographic research to analyse mosquito management strategies in four European regions (Switzerland, France, Netherlands, and Germany) that aim to survey and control mosquito populations through means as mapping, insecticide treatment, or public awareness campaigns. From the perspective of cultural anthroplogy, we aim to understand how borders come to matter in the management of species that do not recognize borders. In this article, it will be discussed how mosquitoes embody powerful linkages between nations, places, nature and the environment – and that these linkages build upon assumptions about who might be responsible for solving the mosquito problem.
Tiger Mosquito, biosecurity, prevention, Dengue, invasive species