Help give mozzies the slap
  • Wednesday 07 January 2015
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That’s the call out from Sunshine Coast Council with the warmer temperature, wet weather and high tides providing optimum breeding conditions for mosquitos.

Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council had an ongoing proactive control program to monitor and combat mosquitoes but residents could also play an important role in reducing the high numbers of little biters.

“Mosquito breeding sites in saltmarsh areas and intertidal zones on the Sunshine Coast Council area total about 1000ha and ultimately impact the majority of residents along our coastal towns and westward to the Blackall Range.

“During higher tidal inundations, typically around 12-15 per year, mosquito hatches are triggered and council’s proactive treatment program target as many of these saltmarsh mosquito breeding sites as possible.

“We particularly target the Aedes vigilax mosquito which is a vector for chronic diseases such as Ross River Fever.

“Controlling mosquito populations is a complex task as the average mosquito can travel 30 km in distance dependant on the tides and wind direction.

“This week council has undertaken the fourth aerial mosquito larvae treatment of the season targeting the southern areas of the region. Post treatment surveying is now being completed to assess efficacy.

“Further aerial treatments are planned next week in the northern areas.”

Cr McKay said numerous breeding sites have also been detected in and around residential areas throughout the region.

“Everyone can help to reduce mosquito impacts,” she said.

“From cleaning up your yard to emptying water out of old pots, containers and tyres, there’s a number of small things you can do to help reduce the number of breeding sites around your home.”

Mosquito populations usually rise to a peak in late summer but large populations can also occur at any time between September and April if favourable conditions for mosquito breeding occur.

Council obtains State Government permits for mosquito treatments and abides by the conditions of the chemicals used.

FACT BOX:

Mosquito prevention tips

Personal protection of yourself and your property is the best policy for protection against mosquitos.  Here are some simple tips to reduce mosquito breeding around your home:

• Check places out of sight where they may be breeding e.g. roof guttering, where shallow pools can collect
• Repair roof guttering and remove leaves & debris regularly
• Remove overhanging vegetation
• Empty pot plant dishes, car tyre and other containers at least once a week
• Place sand around pot plant bases or store the bases for the season
• Keep fish ponds stocked with fish
• Keep swimming pools chlorinated
• Cap cavity brick walls to prevent water pooling
• Drill holes in tyres used for swings and garden surrounds to allow water to drain
• Ensure rainwater tanks are well maintained and that intake and outlet points are screened with mesh of 1 mm or less
• Fit screens to windows and doors.
• These actions will not fix the problem overnight but will have an impact over a week or more.

Personal Protection

• When mosquitoes are present, spray dark areas before dusk and after securing screens
• Wear protective clothing outdoors (long pants and sleeves)
• Explore options such as mosquito coils and burners when outdoors
• Use a recommended personal mosquito repellent.