Värmland locals tired of being eaten by flood mosquitoes

4:20 min

Locals in a town in flood-hit Värmland are staging a protest this afternoon over what they see as a lack of political will to tackle the swarms of mosquitoes that are making their lives a misery.

The demonstration is being held in Forshaga and one of those taking part, Madeleine Arvidsson Wäli, environmental lawyer at the Swedish Homeowners Association, tells Radio Sweden that people have had enough.

"This is about showing that people living in Forshaga and Deje are really suffering.We don't think the people responsible have done enough. If you are not there you cannot know how bad it is and this summer has been the worse," she tells Radio Sweden.

"One employee at the municipal council caught 23 million mosquitoes and that is just ten percent of the total amount."

One of the people who will demonstrate is Mikaela Fallgren from Deje. She tells Värmland's local Swedish Radio channel that her son woke up in bed covered in bites, despite sleeping with the windows closed.

"My son slept with one arm outside the blanket in the summer. He had 36 mosquitoe bites on the arm when he awoke. It should not be like this. It must end sometime."

Madeleine Arvidsson Wäli says a lot of things can be done to help solve the problem and wants the government to create a national organisation that will fight the floodwater mosquitoes when they arrive and she would also like to see better controls for the disposal of floodwaters, which are breading grounds for the thirsty bloodsuckers.

A special insecticide which kills the mosquitoes but is not harmful to other widlife can be used from a helicopter but this is not allowed in the area affected in Värmland, says the lawyer to Radio Sweden. 

"The breeding grounds for mosquitoes are in a national park which is also used for breeding by protected birds. At certain times of the year, like now, it is not allowed to use this spray by helicopter, even though it only takes an hour. People are more important than animals," she says.

One of the demonstrators, Mikaela Fallgren from Deja, tells Värmland's local Swedish Radio channel that her son woke up in bed covered in bites, despite sleeping with the windows closed.

"My son slept with one arm outside the blanket in the summer. He had 36 mosquitoe bites on the arm when he awoke. It should not be like this. It must end sometime."

also says people can't move