AN urgent appeal has gone out to expats to be vigilant over the threat of tiger mosquitoes – or face hefty fines.
It comes after the Costa Blanca region saw an alarming rise in the numbers of the aggressive breed of insect.
Valencia City Council has taken the drastic step of fining residents who allow any areas of water to build up around their properties.
Anyone caught with a pool of standing water – where mosquitoes can multiply – now faces a fine of up to €3,000.
All home and business owners are now obliged to empty all containers with stagnant water that encourages the larva of the pests.
Councillor for Health, Emiliano García, explained that the program is ‘to warn and inform’
He added: “The objective is not to sanction but to make people aware that they have to take measures against this mosquito”.
An unknown number of the dangerous insects carry the potential lethal Zika virus.
They are also far more aggressive than their European cousins and can bite through clothing and spread other diseases such as dengue and yellow fever.
Up until recently, these illnesses haven’t been prevalent in Spain, but their ability to adapt to different environments has resulted in their spread.
Garcia added that they only need a small amount of standing water to reproduce, such as water in plant pots or puddles.
Fines start from €25 and rise depending on levels of danger and negligence.
So far dozens of people have been admitted to hospital after being bitten.