The prevalence of mosquitoes across the Bundaberg Region requires a concerted effort from residents in conjunction with Council to minimise the risks associated with mosquito-borne infections. Mosquitoes live and breed in different environments. Some live and breed in containers holding water around your house and yard while others are found in salt marshes or freshwater pools in the natural environment.
Some types of mosquitoes can spread disease to humans and animals while others are just a nuisance. The most common mosquito-borne diseases in Queensland are Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses. Some mosquitoes that breed around your house and yard can give your dog heart worm. So by stopping mosquitoes from breeding you will protect your family and pets.
Residents play an important role in reducing mosquito breeding in and around their house and yard.
The following are tips for preventing mosquito breeding around your home:
- Check playground equipment. Tyre swings can hold water and are a favoured breeding site for mosquitoes. It is recommended to drill holes in the bottom of the tyre so water drains out.
- Check rainwater tanks. Unscreened tanks or damaged screens enable female mosquitoes to enter and lay eggs inside the tank.
- Plastic and tarps can hold water in the many small pockets of folded plastic. It is recommended to remove and store under cover or treat tarp with cockroach surface spray every three months.
- Check roof guttering on a regular basis to remove all accumulated debris, such as leaves.
- Rubbish items, buckets and containers. Any item that holds water for an extended period will provide a mosquito breeding site. Once a week empty, dry and clean any items capable of holding water , or store it under cover, or dispose of it, as appropriate. Pot plant bases should be filled with sand to prevent mosquito breeding.
Aedes aegypti has been found in Gin Gin and Childers. This mosquito can transmit Dengue Fever, but only if it bites a host currently suffering from the disease. As this mosquito breeds predominately in domestic containers, breeding sites can be easily removed by following the steps above.
You can protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites by;
- Applying insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations
- Wearing long, loose, light coloured clothing - especially if you are outside at dawn or dusk.
- Using insect surface spray, mosquito coils or plug-in insecticide devices indoors
- Repairing defective insect screens or fitting new screens, where possible
- Using bed nets when applicable
- Contact a licensed Pest Management Technician regarding barrier spraying of home and screens
Personal insect repellents containing DEET or picaridin are more effective than other repellents, depending on the concentration. Repellents containing picaridin or less than 10 per cent DEET are considered safe for children. However, the use of tropical repellents is not recommended for infants under three months of age.