While the recent wet weather has been a welcome change for the region, residents are being urged to take care around the home and implement measures to safeguard themselves ahead of the expected increase in mosquito numbers.
Environment Councillor Tom Wyatt said Council’s pest management officers are monitoring mosquito numbers through salt marsh and fresh water surveillance and light traps across selected areas of the region.
“Council is conducting misting regularly in identified areas including Kinka Beach and Keppel Sands, and is continuing to attend sites where requests for treatment have been raised including northern parts of the Shire such as Rockyview and Glenlee,” Cr Wyatt said.
“Current monitoring indicates some instances where salt marsh mosquito numbers have been high, however, the fresh water mosquito numbers are remaining low. Ongoing treatment for mosquitos in general appears to have been effective in keeping mosquito numbers low.
“Where numbers determine treatment is required, Council incorporates the area into the misting programme and larviciding is applied for mosquito control in ponds and other isolated water bodies, treating the mosquito at Larval or Pupal form.
“We also encourage residents to protect themselves and their properties from mosquitos by removing any accumulation of water which is a potential breeding ground at the home and be aware of peak mosquito activity, which is at dusk and dawn.
“Residents should also be aware that some species of mosquitos can carry diseases, including Ross River and Dengue Fever, so it is very important to wear repellent and long, loose fitting, lightly coloured clothing when outside.”
Reduce mosquitoes around your home by:
· Inspecting your house and yard and removing any accumulation of water;
· Empty pot plant bases weekly or fill the base with sand to absorb water;
· Wash out bromeliads and other water-holding plants weekly;
· Clean out roof gutters regularly and trim back trees which can block gutters;
· Ensure rainwater tanks are screened;
· Maintain swimming pools;
· Wash out birdbaths and ornamental pools weekly; and
· Ensure ponds are stocked with suitable native fish.
How to protect yourself:
· Install or repair insect screens on all doors and windows, especially in sleeping areas. · Wear long sleeved, loose-fitting clothing when outside;
· Use insect repellent;
· Use a plug-in insecticide vaporiser (indoors) or mosquito coils (outdoors);
· If you live in an unscreened house or are camping, sleep under a mosquito net; and
· Air-conditioning and fans are also effective in protecting you from mosquitoes.