Entomologists claim that mosquitoes can rise to altitudes of almost 300 meters, and fly away from the African continent with air currents.
It was previously believed that the area of African mosquitoes in the north was limited to the Sahel, a savannah zone that demarcated the Sahara and the more fertile southern lands. However, mosquitoes can rise much higher than previously thought, and, together with powerful air currents, move over much longer distances.
Scientists have figured it out by launching research vehicles into the sky of Africa. The design of these devices was amusingly simple: in fact, these are just small balloons with sticky nets attached to them. At the same time, control nets were installed on the ground to confirm that the insects were indeed caught high in the air. The study showed that mosquitoes are able to rise to a height of 40 to 290 meters above the ground. At this altitude, they are captured by powerful air currents. With the wind, mosquitoes can travel even to Europe.
In addition, among insects that fell on the net, 80% were adult females who were ready to lay eggs. They are responsible for spreading a number of dangerous infections – malaria, West Nile fever and Rift Valley fever. Entomologists fear that in conditions of global warming in Europe, favorable conditions may develop for the development of these diseases, and mosquitoes-travelers will contribute to the development of epidemics – including in temperate latitudes.