Be mozzie safe this wet summer season

Be mozzie safe this wet summer season

Nothing kills the summer BBQ mood quicker than the buzz of the pesky mosquitoes…

The recent heavy rain experienced around the Gladstone Region, while appreciated for increasing our dam level (which is on a Low Supply Alert), has created the perfect climate for mozzies to breed.

A looming La Nina season, which will bring wetter weather during the summer months, will result in water sitting around, creating the perfect conditions for the critters to multiply.

There’s nothing they love more than pools of water and warm nights.

Gladstone Regional Council is undertaking inspection and treatment of known breeding grounds on council land, including parks; gardens; roads, and drainage systems and facilities.

But some breeding grounds fall outside of their control.

Our region experiences frequent easterly winds, which can blow in marsh mosquitoes, that are breeding up to 50km away in inaccessible areas, making treatment difficult.

How does council try to control mozzies?

The first measure uses is larvicide, which are in pellet and briquette forms, and are placed in known mozzie breeding water sources.

They kill the larvae, and or stop the breeding cycle at the larval stage so they can’t transition into an adult mosquito to bite and spread diseases.

Unlike fogging, larvicides are species specific, so they don’t kill any other species, including native bees and butterflies, that ingest them.

While working works quickly on adult mozzies, it does nothing for larva or eggs, and only lasts while in the air.

Ross River infections, which account for the largest number of human mosquito-borne disease notifications in Queensland, come from several types of mozzies, with Culex annulirostris, Aedes vigilax (salt marsh mosquito) and Aedes notoscriptus being most common.

Mosquitoes that can spread Ross River virus are found in our region.

So what can you do to protect yourself and your family?

  • Between sunset and sunrise, minimise outdoor activities as mozzies are most active between these times.
  • Wear loose, long, light coloured clothing – mozzies are attracted to darker colours.
  • On exposed skin, consider applying a repellent that contains picaridin, DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Remove any accumulations of water such as around pot plant bases, birdbaths, fishponds and ornamental pools – whenever water stands for four to seven days mozzies can breed.
  • Ensure rainwater tanks are screened.
  • Keep swimming pools maintained.
  • Clear clogged roof gutters.
  • Install good quality flyscreen on all your windows and doors.
  • Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.