Are gardeners and their water butts bringing disease carrying mosquitos to the UK’s urban areas? Scientists are concerned that garden water storage is multiplying the number of mosquitos in urban areas. Sales of water butts soared in the UK during the 2012 drought and the accompanying hosepipe bans, and when these extra breeding places are combined with an increasing urban heat-island effect, mosquito populations jump.
Rural areas still have a wider variety of mosquitos, but urban areas have a much higher total number of often only a few species, such as Anopheles plumbeus, which can carry malaria, and Culex pipiens, which can carry Nile Fever.
Although the risk of someone returning to the UK with malaria, being bitten, and then that infection transferring to another nearby human is very tiny, as mosquito numbers continue to increase, the possibility of a local outbreak rises.