The invasive quagga mussel is spreading in swimming lakes, increasing the risk of injury to bathers and causing economic damage.

The bathing season begins and Austria warns: An invasive mussel species called quagga mussel is spreading more and more in Austrian lakes. The mussel, which originally comes from the Aral Sea and the Black Sea, was discovered in Lake Constance in 2016 and has now conquered other bodies of water such as the Attersee and the Traunsee, as “” reports. The problem is not new, but it is becoming more acute every year.

It was detected in Carinthia two years ago and can now also be found in the Ausee in Asten in the Linz-Land district. The municipality of Asten warns of a possible risk of injury for bathers who could cut themselves on the shells. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry shows pictures of the mussel species on its website. 

In order to contain the spread of the quagga mussel, the authorities recommend that bathers thoroughly clean sports equipment and clothing after use and rinse them with hot water, according to “”. Additionally, equipment should be dried in the sun before reuse in other waters. Boat owners are asked to dry their equipment for at least four days to remove mussel larvae.

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