Mosquitoes and Biting Midges
  • Last updated:
  • 22 Feb 2017

Mosquito and midge (sandfly) bites can be painful and uncomfortable. Certain species of mosquitoes found on the coast can spread diseases to humans and animals, unlike biting midge which do not.

Learn how to protect yourself and your family and pets from these annoying pests.

Mosquitoes

Mosquito numbers typically increase during wet weather or following tide triggers. They are commonly found around saltmarshes and temporary freshwater with one particular species, Aedes vigilax, able to fly up to 40 kilometers. Their breeding season peaks from September to May.

Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses are the most common mosquito-borne diseases in Queensland.

Management program

Council has a proactive program to manage mosquitoes. It includes regular surveillance and larval treatments of mosquito-prone areas to minimise the public health risks at the source. This is done through ground and aerial applications of two main control products – Methoprene and BTI.

Please note: Council does not spray for adult flying mosquitoes around your house or in public areas.

For further information on council's program:

Area specific fact sheets on mosquito activity:

  • Use a repellent containing DEET when outside. Always read the label and follow safety directions.
  • Wear long sleeve shirts and trousers. Light colours are best.
  • Limit time outside at dusk and dawn.
  • Remove water sources around the house. Tip out containers, pot plants or items holding water. Small amounts of water can breed large numbers of mosquitoes!
  • Spray screens with residual products. Always read the label and follow safety directions.
  • Increase light and air movement around dark and damp areas.
  • Outdoor areas around your house can be treated with products containing a residual insecticide for control over longer periods.
  • Change water in pet bowls and bird baths frequently. Clean your roof gutters on a regular basis.
  • Ensure your rainwater tank is fitted with mosquito proof screens.
  • Keep swimming pools clean and chlorinated.
  • Keep any ornamental ponds and fountains stocked with fish.
  • See a vet for advice on suitable preventative treatments / repellents if your pets are affected.

Following simple guidelines can greatly reduce your risk of getting a mosquito borne disease. It will also increase your enjoyment of the Coast's environment.

More information on mosquitoes can be found on the Queensland Health website.

Biting midges

Biting midges (or sand flies) are a common nuisance along certain coastal areas of south east Queensland. They are most active between September and April particularly in suburbs close to mangroves and intertidal zones (including canals, rivers, and estuaries). Biting midges are not known to spread disease.

Treatment

Midges are difficult to control due to their habitat and life-cycle. Unlike mosquito management, there is no available chemical treatment for the larvae as insecticides are not to be used on or adjacent to environmentally sensitive areas such as tidal or mangrove ecosystems. Therefore Council is unable to undertake insecticide treatments in these locations but will provide information on preventative measures for residents to protect themselves when experiencing nuisance levels when outside.  

A short-term insecticide application for adult midges around your house can be effective but needs repeated applications. Chemical treatments should only be carried out by a licensed Pest Management Technician.

Monitoring program

Council has a monitoring program at Currimundi Lake. The data collected helps council to make decisions on artificially closing and opening the lake. This reduces the impact on local residents.

Tips to protect from biting midges

  • Use repellent containing DEET when outside. Always read the label and follow safety directions.
  • Wear long sleeve shirts and trousers. Light colours are best.
  • Limit time outside at dusk and dawn.
  • Increase light and air movement around dark and damp areas. Do this both inside and outside the home. Midge activity greatly reduces in wind speeds over 6-8 kilometers an hour.
  • Spray screens with residual products. Always read the label and follow safety directions.
  • Closely mow lawns and keep vegetation sparse around your house.
  • Remove water sources around the house. This includes containers, pot plants or items holding water.

More information on biting midges is available on the Queensland Health website.