Mosquito surveillance

The National Environmental Health Service: Mosquito Surveillance Programme 2023.

The national environmental health service’s mosquito surveillance programme report shows that out of 72 inspections carried out across five areas of Dublin Port in 2023 just three samples inspected had mosquitoes present.   

The purpose of the HSE surveillance is to establish the presence or absence of any invasive species such as Aedes albopictus or Aedes aegypti in Ireland. None of these species were found. 

One of the samples found in August 2023 confirmed that the species identified was Culex pipiens – one male Culex pipiens specimen and one female Culex Pipiens specimen. These are considered non-invasive mosquito species to Ireland.

A sample found in July confirmed the species identified was Anopheles claviger. This species is also native to Ireland and is common and geographically widespread across the island.

The third sample could not be tested for technical reasons.

Mosquitoes are associated with the spread of several diseases including malaria, yellow fever virus, dengue virus, West Nile Fever, chikungunya virus and Zika virus.

Studies by the European Centre for the Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have shown that these species are slowly starting to migrate further north possibly as a result of climate change and an increase in global traffic. In September 2023 Aedes Albopictus has been detected in Lisbon, northern Portugal although there is, for now, no increased risk to the health of the population.

As recently as November and December 2023 there were two notifications of the introduction of Aedes aegypti in Gran Canaria (Canary Islands).

As established there are mosquitoes in Ireland but fortunately because of the current climate the numbers are very low. Irish mosquitoes have not been demonstrated to carry any human infections. However as all models of climate change are predicting a rise in temperatures, this can create a climate that is more suitable for the spread of mosquitoes and the potential for the spread of viruses that come with those mosquitoes. The HSE National Environmental Health Service will continue to build on the progress made in 2023 and are looking at extending our surveillance programme for 2024/25.