Rainy days followed by heat waves – the pattern in Israel in recent weeks – means that conditions are ideal for the spread of mosquitoes, and spreading they are indeed in many parts of the country. As a result, local authorities have geared up for a major round of insecticide spraying, especially in areas of standing water.
The greatest fear associated with mosquitoes is West Nile Virus, several outbreaks of which were reported in 2018. The virus, as well as several other diseases, are spread by Culex and Asian Tigress mosquitoes, both of which are not native to Israel but have spread in recent years. Over the past decade there has been an increasing number of complaints from residents around the country, with local authorities using more and stronger types of pesticide.
The Environment Ministry recommended that residents of towns suffering from mosquito invasions to not wait for their local authorities but rather to take matters into their own hands and drain and dry out standing, overgrown grass and plants in gardens, and remove trash, all of which are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.