Tip it, store it, throw it, dry it: simple steps to manage mosquito populations

Residents are being encouraged to protect their families from mosquitoes this summer by tipping out, wiping out, throwing out or drying stored items that can hold water.

Burdekin Shire Council Senior Environmental Health Officer Preeti Prayaga said the combination of wet weather and hot temperatures create ideal breeding conditions for the insects, who have the capacity to transmit disease.

“More than 220 mosquito species are found in Queensland and a substantial number of these can carry human disease, such as Ross River Virus, Barmah Forest Virus and Dengue Fever. Consequently, it’s important for residents to remain vigilant in removing potential breeding sites,” Dr Prayaga said.

“Mosquitos can breed in salt, brackish or fresh water. After our recent heavy rainfall, we encourage the community to minimise potential breeding sites around their homes.”

Simple steps residents can take to protect themselves and their families from mosquitos include:

  • Empty stagnant water out of old tyres, buckets, plastic covers, toys, pet drinking bowls, bird baths, pot plant trays or any other container where larvae may live;
  • Drill holes in tyres used for swings and garden surrounds to allow water to drain;
  • Drain temporary pools and tree hollows or fill with dirt or sand;
  • Treat and circulate swimming pools;
  • Unclog rain gutters;
  • Avoid using water retaining plants in your garden. Where these are present, use a high-pressure spray to kill mosquito larvae;
  • Clear out any palm fronds and other vegetation from gardens;
  • Overturn or remove the drain plug in boats and dinghies;
  • Screen all openings to tanks, wells or other large water containers with wire gauze no coarser than 1mm mesh to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs;
  • Create a good buffer zone between your house and any surrounding thick vegetation to avoid breeding sites; and
  • Ensure your lawn is cut regularly.

Between December and April, very high tides will inundate low lying areas around the Burdekin coast.

This in combination with the heat will provide a perfect environment for salt marsh mosquitoes to lay their eggs and hatch quickly.

Salt marsh mosquitoes can fly up to 50km from their hatching site, are aggressive biters at both day and night and have the potential to carry disease passed to humans.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Council’s Pest Management officers will be monitoring high tide events and will be conducting regular spray treatments in identified areas during and after high tides.

“Whilst our officers will be taking steps to manage mosquito populations, residents can help avoid mosquito bites by wearing loose fitting, light coloured long sleeves and long pants and by applying mosquito repellent,” Cr McLaughlin said.

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