Mosquito monitoring at Vienna International Airport


The monitoring programme at Vienna International Airport monitors whether exotic and potentially invasive mosquito species are being introduced to Austria via air traffic.

Project description

In recent decades, alien mosquito species have become increasingly present in Europe. Mosquitoes are brought into new areas passively, primarily through the global transport of goods. If suitable climatic conditions prevail there, new populations can establish themselves in these areas. These introduced mosquito species pose a potential threat as they can also bring exotic pathogens with them.

Of particular importance here is the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). This species is a potential vector for over 20 different pathogens such as chikungunya virus, dengue virus and dirofilaria. The tiger mosquito is also very adaptable and has increasingly spread throughout Europe. We have already detected the tiger mosquito in Austria.

We set up mosquito traps at Vienna International Airport every year and check them weekly (May - October). To catch adult mosquitoes, we use traps that use carbon dioxide (CO2) and a scent to attract the mosquitoes. Ovitraps ("egg-laying traps") are artificial breeding sites and are designed to encourage females to lay their eggs in these traps. The adult mosquitoes and the eggs are identified on the basis of morphological characteristics or, if necessary, genetic species identification is carried out using PCR.


Although the Asian tiger mosquito(Aedes albopictus) has been detected several times at Vienna International Airport, these have so far only been isolated cases. Although the introduction of exotic mosquitoes via air transport appears to be a rare occurrence, repeated introductions have been reported in recent years. However, it should be noted that Asian tiger mosquitoes have been present in Lower Austria since 2020 and in Vienna since 2021. Asian tiger mosquitoes could therefore also be introduced to the airport site from these areas.

The second exotic mosquito species found was the Japanese bush mosquito(Aedes japonicus). This species is now widespread in Austria and the specimens found very probably originate from local populations.

In general, the species composition of the mosquito population studied at the airport was similar to the populations in nearby urban areas of Vienna. The mosquito population at Vienna International Airport consisted mainly of specimens of the common house mosquito(Cx. pipiens/torrentium), which is widespread in urban environments or other heavily built-up areas such as airports in Central Europe and North America.

Detailed results are described in the annual reports.

Annual report 2023

Annual report 2022

Annual report 2021

Benefits of the project

The aim of this project is to recognise the occurrence of these species at Vienna International Airport at an early stage, enabling countermeasures to be taken in good time. Furthermore, the data obtained can be used to record the spatial and temporal changes in the occurrence of alien mosquito species throughout Austria.

Project details

Project title: Mosquito monitoring at Vienna International Airport

Project management: AGES, Dr Karin Bakran-Lebl

Project partner: Flughafen Wien AG

Last updated: 15.03.2024

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