Osijek Mosquitoes Problem to be Approached Systematically

Katarina Anđelković

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May 18, 2023 – As the regional center of Slavonia and Baranja, Osijek is known for its history, culture, being the greenest city in Croatia, and other interesting things. Among them, unfortunately, the Osijek mosquitoes. So much so that there are statues and artwork dedicated to the little flying nuisances, festivals that have one as their logo, and even an enclosure in the bushes of the city zoo with their name. Summers in Osijek are equally fun and itchy.

This year, the city of Osijek will, for the first time, approach its mosquito problem from a wider angle by including the area of several neighboring municipalities from whose floodplains the mosquitoes come to the city. As announced by the City Administration, they expect that a more systematic approach will gradually reduce the mosquito population.

Deputy Mayor Dragan Vulin said at a press conference that for the first time since Croatian independence, the city of Osijek reached an agreement on the financing of larvicidal treatments in the area of the surrounding municipalities of Petrijevci, Darda, Bilje, and Erdut, where the largest floodplains from which mosquitoes come to the city can be found, writes Index.

Research has shown that 95 percent of mosquitoes in Osijek come from those flood areas, so the city has taken on the obligation to finance and carry out the treatment to prevent the emergence of mosquitoes in those areas, explained Vulin.

The city will finance the larvicidal treatments in total, and in addition, Vulin points out, it was agreed with the municipal authorities that 90 percent of the amount will be co-financed from the Osijek city budget for corrective adulticidal mosquito treatments, intended for mosquitoes that survive the larvicidal treatment, while the municipalities will provide the remaining 10 percent.

Planes will dust over the residential areas

Given that larvicidal treatments are not fully effective anywhere in the world, Vulin announced that Osijek would also carry out adulticidal treatments from the ground and the air in the city, and the first treatments are scheduled for this Thursday and Friday. He noted that the City Administration is having discussions with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development regarding obtaining a permit for the larvicidal treatment of the peripheral areas of the Kopački rit Nature Park, as a large number of mosquitoes come to Osijek from the park’s southern parts.

Vulin reported that 700,000 euros have been provided in the city budget for mosquito control this year, while the Osijek-Baranja County will participate in financing with an additional 200,000 euros.

When the funds allocated by individual municipalities are added, it amounts to more than 1.1 million euros. In addition, the City of Osijek expects help from the government, from which Mayor Ivan Radić requested funds.

Vulin believes that more than 1.5 million euros will be available for the fight against mosquitoes this year, which is more than in the past few years.

Regarding the agreement with the surrounding municipalities, Vulin says that they wanted to fight mosquitoes outside the city, which will also help municipalities that cannot provide enough funds for an effective fight against mosquitoes. This does not mean that there will be no mosquitoes at all, but it is certain that with this systematic approach, the mosquito population will decrease this year and in the following years, Deputy Mayor Vulin said.

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