Health

These summer undesirables we will have to watch out for

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The critters that spoil our holidays and can land us in the emergency room, the tiger mosquitoes that just put the Pyrénées-Orientales and the Aude on alert, but also ticks, jellyfish, stingrays and other trigger fish are at the door of the summer. A little bestiary from L’Indépendant production explains the dangers and the correct actions and reflexes to adopt.

The little beast will never eat the big one. The proof is its “blue skin” or longfin sharks, which every year aim their fins at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. In 2023, between the end of July and the beginning of August, these regulars from the Catalan coast and the Aude caused the evacuation of the beaches of Torreilles, Barcarès, Leucate, Gruissan under a red flame… And a generalized “blue” ” fear. They were approaching the shore.

A pelagic species, in other words living in the open sea, these sharks, often females and juveniles, are however only friendly baby sharks. “In the past they may have been predators of humans, but far out at sea today the ‘blueskins’ feed only on octopus.”, reassures Pascal Romans, curator of the biosarium and head of the Banyuls-sur-Mer Oceanological Observatory. Unlike other aggressive fish, including Triggerfish or Bluefish, the specimen does not attack. “He’s mostly lost, panicked, there’s no risk with this animal unless you get too close or try to grab him by the tail. In that case he’ll feel attacked, turn around and bite in defense”, defends the expert. His advice? To get out of the water. Or move away from it.

Seasonal poisons

The recommendation applies to all summer “pests”. On the tiger mosquito side, we empty or cover all the small damp places where the biters nest. These layers produce a thousand larvae in three to six weeks of life. Tick? Sneaky, silent, and a carrier of disease, it most often appears in the shower after a hike. The bright ones? Burrowing in the sand they greedily bite the flats of their feet. Jellyfish? Watch out for their poisonous tentacles and filaments. Like Creseis, their mollusc colleagues or Bluefish, these less common but dangerous “poisons”, summer predators await us with firm paws. On land in Occitania, the Regional Health Agency and EID Méditerranée are monitoring it.

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