Ibiza has been hit by an invasion of aggressive Asian Tiger mosquitoes that are four times bigger than normal.
Experts say the spiralling numbers are an unexpected spin-off result from the coronavirus pandemic – as strict lockdown rules have closed hotels and holiday villas.
Health officials say the blood-sucking insects, which take 10 to 12 days to hatch and flourish in wet conditions, are likely to be coming from untreated swimming pools.
Under Spain’s State of Emergency, villas have been left occupied whilst hotels were forced to close.
Due to travel restrictions, hundreds of thousands of visitors have been unable to visit the tourist hotspot.
As a result, the pools have been untreated for several months and have attracted huge plagues of the common mosquito and the more dangerous tiger mosquito.
Asian tiger mosquitoes are far more aggressive than their European cousins.
They can bite through clothing and spread diseases such as dengue and yellow fever.
Now Ibiza council’s environmental management department has urged pool owners to purify their pools as soon as possible.
The department said that pools must be treated soon to avoid “a real public health problem.”
To avoid getting bitten by one of the pests, website travelhealthpro.org.uk has listed what travellers should pack.
It states: “Protection from insect and tick bites is best achieved by avoiding infected habitats, together with personal protective measures such as wearing protective clothing, using insect repellent and sleeping under impregnated bed nets.
“Travellers should pack appropriate equipment for their destination; this may include protective clothing, repellents, mosquito nets, fine tipped tweezers and a first aid pack.”
And if you do get bitten, the site warns that most bites will only cause minor irritation, but in serious cases it can result in transmission of infectious disease such as malaria, yellow fever, and Zika.
And travellers with a high fever of 38C or other concerning symptoms should always seek medical advice.
Spain revealed a four-stage plan to begin easing lockdown on 4th May – after its strict confinement saw children under 14 years old stuck in their homes for six weeks.
The easing is happening in two-week blocks but Spain’s regions are exiting lockdown at different speeds.
Ibiza entered phase two of the de-escalation lockdown, alongside Mallorca and Menorca today.