Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are a natural part of our environment. Mosquitoes are a nuisance and can spread some serious diseases collectively known as arboviruses. Some of the most commonly known arboviruses include:

  • Ross River Virus
  • Barmah Forest Virus
  • Kunjin Virus
  • Murray Valley Encephalitis

These viruses can range from fevers, chills, joint pain and swelling, fatigue, headaches and potentially death.

This is why it is important to remember the Fight the Bite principles and avoid being bitten.

The Fight the Bite principles are as follows:

  • COVER UP and wear long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing,
  • REPEL mosquitoes using insect repellent containing DEET (diethyl toluamide) or picaridin, and
  • ELIMINATE breeding sites around your home. Remove stagnant ponds of water in;
    • pot plant saucers/drip trays,
    • old plastic containers,
    • bird baths,
    • disused wading pools and swimming pools,
    • roof gutters,
    • old car and truck tyres, and
    • make sure canoes, kayaks and dinghies are overturned or drain plug removed.

Additionally:

  • Avoid going outside during dawn and dusk (as this is the period when mosquitoes are most active),
  • Check that sanitary plumbing vents are sealed with screen mesh,
  • Check that rainwater tank openings are sealed with screen mesh (liquid food grade paraffin oil also can be added to rainwater tanks to prevent mosquito breeding – use about 1.5 cups per 10,000L),
  • Make sure any door and window flyscreens are in good condition and they contain no holes,
  • Stock ponds and dams with fish, and
  • Use a mosquito net around your bed at night or wear a mosquito head net over a hat when out during the day.

Where can Larvae breed?

  • In stagnant ponds of water that contain no natural predators (e.g. fish), and
  • In rainwater tanks and septic tanks.

Generally backwaters of the River Murray contain a range of natural predators an do not pose a risk as a result.

What is Council doing?

Unfortunately Council cannot completely eradicate mosquitoes.

Council has in place a mosquito surveillance and control program. The program is coordinated by Council's Environmental Health Officer (EHO). Council’s EHO conducts monthly trapping during the mosquito season at select locations across the region. Trapped mosquitoes are then identified to species level and tested for common arboviruses. Mosquito breeding sites are also monitored for activity and treated if necessary.

For further information visit the SA Health “Fight the Bite” website at:
https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/healthy+living/protecting+your+health/yourself/fight+the+bite