PARTS of Ireland could be at risk of a dangerous Asian mosquito because of its changing weather, according to scientists.
The insect, which transmits tropical diseases, could soon settle in the Republic as milder winters become the norm.
The Asian tiger mosquito has already moved to some continental European countries but Ireland's changing climate could attract it to our shores.
It is already responsible for several outbreaks of infections such as the potentially deadly dengue fever.
The Asian mosquito caused an outbreak of chikungunya fever in the north-eastern Italian province of Ravenna, where more than 200 people were infected in the summer of 2007 and one woman died.
It breeds in water-filled tree holes and appears to have established itself further north than its usual habitat as a result of the trade in used car tyres, which can carry its eggs inside the water-filled rim.
The mosquito can also infect lucky bamboo, a house plant transported in water-filled pots.
See Page 24