Mosquitoes are annoying insect pests which have the potential to carry diseases such as Ross River Virus, Barmah Forest Virus and Dengue fever.
There are more than twenty-five (25) common species of mosquitoes in North Queensland with many capable of transmitting disease. Mosquitoes need water and a small amount of nutrients to breed. During hot humid conditions, eggs can develop to mature adults within 4 days and adults can live for one to four weeks.
Burdekin Shire Council’s Pest Management team aims to keep mosquito populations on Council managed land to acceptable levels through various forms of treatment and control that aims to reduce the impact of nuisance and mitigate public health risk to the community.
The Mosquito Management Plan (see the related documents section below) guides the activities of the Pest Management team.
Council also seeks information from the community in reporting any breeding sites observed. Your assistance and regular maintenance in the yard can help in the eradication of certain potential disease carrying mosquitoes.
The life cycle of the mosquito
Mosquitoes need water to breed. Mosquito eggs are laid in water or on the sides of containers that may contain water. Eggs of some species can survive dry conditions for months. When they are finally exposed to water they will hatch.
Once hatched the larvae (wrigglers) feed on organic matter in the water until they develop into pupae. This is the stage prior to the mosquito becoming an adult. After a few days the pupae rises to the surface and the adult emerges and files away.
The life cycle of a mosquito can vary between four days to one month depending on species and temperature.
How far a mosquito travels from where it hatches varies considerably. Some travel only metres from where they hatch however others can fly up to 50 kilometres with a good tail wind. Most mosquitoes travel less than two kilometres from their hatching site.
While Burdekin Shire Council works to reduce the breeding of mosquitoes on public land, the most effective protection is gained from the residents and individuals in the community.
The mosquito that transmits dengue fever is most likely to breed around the home. Minimising breeding sites around the home and using personal protection are the most effective ways to minimise the risk of being bitten.
Residents can prevent mosquitoes from breeding on their property by removing anything around the yard that can hold water. This may include:
- Pots and plant bases
- Wheelbarrows and other garden tools
- Palm fronds
Ensure there is no pooling water in the yard. Roof gutters are a common place for water to pool where leaves prevent the water flowing to the downpipe. Uneven ground causing pooling of water should be drained.
If you have a rainwater tank, check it regularly to ensure the mesh is in good condition. The mesh size needs to be less than 1mm.
Ponds and Dams
If you have a pond or dam on your property, stock it with fish. Fish feed on mosquito larvae.
Birdbaths and Pet Bowls
Regularly refresh the water in your bird bath and pet bowls and remember to wipe the sides to remove eggs.
The Public Health Regulation 2018 requires all persons to ensure that an accumulation of water or another liquid is not a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Council’s advice to the community to reduce any adult mosquito impacts is to apply self-protection measures such as:
- applying personal repellent
- wearing loose, light-coloured clothing
- where possible, avoiding being outside during peak biting times, which are usually dawn and dusk
- minimizing time spent in well-shaded, cool places when mosquitoes are most active
- screening the windows on your house
- using air conditioners.
In indoor or outdoor seating areas you can use mosquito coils, plug in chemical dispersers, or citronella candles to discourage mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes find it difficult to fly when there is a breeze, so use ceiling fans or plug in fans to help deter them. Mosquitoes like to harbour under tables so direct a plug-in fan under the table to keep them away or spray the surface with an insect spray.
For more information on the mosquito control program please contact Council’s Customer Service Centre.
Contact Council's Customer Service Centre
Please contact the Customer Service team by phone on (07) 4783 9800 or email by clicking on the Contact Us button below. Our normal office hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM not including public holidays.Contact Us