Thursday, 22 May 2014

Study: UK cities becoming mosquito-friendly habitats

21 May 2014 Last updated at 03:01

By Mark Kinver
Environment reporter, BBC News

Changes to UK urban areas provide habitats for mosquitoes, including species known to spread malaria and West Nile virus, a study suggests.

Warmer ambient temperatures and more water containers in gardens are bringing mosquitoes into closer contact with people, say scientists.

UK mosquitoes are human disease-free but the team says more of the insects breeding in urban areas increases the chances of a potential outbreak.


Co-author Amanda Callaghan, an associate professor at the University of Reading's School of Biological Sciences, explained that the study aimed to collect data to see if there was a difference in abundance and diversity of mosquitoes in rural and urban locations.

"We knew that there was an urban heat island effect, and changes in temperature have been known to cause changes in mosquito behaviour and - in some regions, such as southern Europe - diseases have crept into these countries because mosquitoes have changed their behaviour," she said.

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