In the UK there are 33 different species of mosquitoes, a few of which do bite humans although most other species prefer to bite animals and birds.
Mosquitoes in Hounslow
A particular species of mosquito called became established around the Mogden sewage treatment works many years ago. This species will readily bite humans and in some cases, people have suffered numerous bites in a single night. Problems usually occur from spring and into autumn when mosquitos require water on which to lay its eggs. They tend to prefer dark, underground, or enclosed spaces in which to breed all year round. During the summer it will breed in open water sources. It will only survive in still or very slow-moving water and cannot breed in water that moves relatively quickly such as rivers.
Report a mosquito problem
Let us know about it. It would be very helpful if you are also able to provide specimens of the insects that you think might be mosquitoes.
Call 020 8583 2000 or email the pest control team
Preventing mosquito bites
To reduce the risk of being bitten NHS Choices recommends the following measures:
- consider using insect repellent on exposed skin particularly when outdoors: repellents that contain 50% DEET (diethyltoluamide) are most effective. Do not use over 50% DEET on children. Follow the directions for use.
- keep your arms and legs covered at dusk: wear long sleeves, long trousers and socks
- keep windows and doors shut from dusk to dawn where possible to avoid mosquitoes entering your house.
- use nets or mosquito coils (a slow burning mixture of repellent and insecticide) can be burned either when sitting outside after sunset, or in bedrooms at night.
What we are doing about the problem
In 1991, following intervention by ourselves, Thames Water agreed to follow a schedule of works on the sewage treatment plant that requires all standing water on the site to be inspected regularly and any mosquitoes found to be treated. As a result the works are inspected by entomologists every week during the spring through to the autumn and every two weeks outside of these months.
A pest control company then visits the site within 48 hours to deal with any mosquito problems that have been identified. A large amount of work has also been done to eliminate many of the mosquito breeding sites or make the treatment of them easier.
We monitor the works being carried out and visit the site regularly to ensure that it is being done correctly. These mosquito control works were recently made a condition of the planning consent granted to Thames Water to expand the site and are therefore legally enforceable. A few years ago biting mosquitoes were discovered in the roadside drainage gullies close to the sewage works. As a result, we flush out these gullies every two to three weeks between May and September, every year. This effectively prevents mosquitoes from developing.
Zika virus and travelling abroad
- Further information and advice on the Zika virus can be found on GOV.UK.
- Read the advice leaflet on reducing the risk of mosquito-borne infections GOV.UK Mosquito bit avoidance for travellers