“We must warn Belgians who want to go to the Camargue”, exclaims Bernard who contacted us via the orange Alert us button. On vacation in Grau-du-Roi, Bernard regrets the presence of “thousands of mosquitoes”. So much so that he plans to cut short his vacation if the situation persists. Means have been deployed by the municipality to resolve the situation. Explanations.
Bernard did not expect to regret his summer destination. By going to Grau-du-Roi in the Camargue, he thought he could fully enjoy his vacation. But since his arrival at the campsite last Sunday, he says he is invaded by “thousands of mosquitoes“. “We don’t even dare to go out so much we get bitten”he exclaims.
For the second consecutive year, Bernard has chosen a campsite offering mobile homes. “Everything went very well the first year”, confides the father of the family. But for three days, the invasion of mosquitoes has spoiled the pleasure. “Obviously the mood takes a hit”, he breathes. From morning to night, the family is attacked by these small insects. “Everyone complains about it. It’s not a vacation anymore”, loose Bernard.
Bernard, his wife and their daughter are all victims of this invasion. “We are all 3 bitten and these are not small pimples”, launches the father of the family, supporting photos. The family went to the pharmacy to stock up on mosquito repellents and creams. “The total”, Bernard said. But nothing helps. “We even bought a citronella candle. And the campers come to ask us where we bought it,” he assures. The family has now invested in repellents used when in the tropics. And if the problem persists, a radical solution will be required. “We are thinking of shortening our vacation”laments Bernard.
On social networks, testimonials of this type are multiplying. “Invasion of mosquitoes in Grau-du-Roi. They are very tough and very numerous, including in broad daylight, arm yourself with your repellents”, can we read. “We saw children crying so much that they were bitten by mosquitoes in quantity”, writes a user.
The campsite where Bernard stays confirms that many campers complain about this situation. On the side of the town of Grau-du-Roi, we are told that everything is done to try to control this invasion. In the municipal budget, 400,000€ are allocated to the fight against the multiplication of these insects. Because every year, mosquitoes take up residence in this city in the south-east of France. Its proximity to the Camargue natural park makes it a prime target.
We treat mosquitoes, which will not be born
This year, however, the combination of several factors has led to an intensive proliferation. “A concordance between temperatures [élevées]unplanned rains, a somewhat brutal outbreak and a poorly timed response time”enlightens us Pierre Jaumain, chief of staff of Grau-du-Roi.
Faced with this, the municipality demanded the immediate intervention of the public body responsible for mosquito control, the EID (Interdepartmental Agreement for Mosquito Control). The intervention is in progress. “There are sprayings with planes and teams pass on foot in wetlands or in bushes”, explains Pierre Jaumain. Concretely, the teams spray mosquito control products in areas where mosquitoes usually lay their larvae. These products then neutralize the larvae and prevent hatching. It should be noted that these products have been adapted to the constraints of biodiversity.
“We treat mosquitoes, which will not be born. For those who have unfortunately already hatched, and which have a lifespan of a few days, we have to wait until they die. The next generation will not arrive”sums up the chief of staff.
You have to be patient
For the municipality, fighting against the proliferation of mosquitoes is an essential task. “This is one of the sine qua non conditions for receiving all visitors, whether Belgian tourists or tourists from all over Europe. We know that this contributes to their comfort, to be able to drink an aperitif on the terrace, go play outside with children, go to the beach quietly”, assures Philippe Jaumain.
What can you say to Bernard, for whom this invasion has ruined the start of his vacation and which could also lead to an early departure? “You have to be patient. You have to make an effort to be in Grau-du-Roi. There are a lot of things to do. We are happy to receive visitors and in particular Belgian tourists”, concludes Philippe Jaumain.