Residents can help take the sting out of mozzie season

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Council is calling on residents to help give mozzies the flick.

Environmental Health Coordinator Geoff Atherfold said while there had been a dry start to the year, the recent rain meant it was now time to be vigilant to prevent mosquitoes breeding.

Council monitors and treats known breeding sites such as salt marshes, but too often backyards offer mosquitoes everything they need to breed.

Mr Atherfold said the insects could breed almost anywhere water collected, including backyards.

“Bird baths, pots, wheelbarrows, pet bowls, pot plant saucers – anything that can hold water – can become a mosquito breeding site,” Mr Atherfold said.

“Some mosquitoes will even lay their eggs on or around these empty containers. The eggs can sit dormant for months until the container fills with water. And once water activates the eggs, it can take as little as four days for the adult mosquitoes to emerge.”

Mr Atherfold said it was particularly important to rid the backyard of empty containers during the humid months of February and March, given the potential for frequent summer storms.

“We can all help give mozzies the flick to not only reduce the chances of annoying bites, but also prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses such as Ross River Virus,” he said.

Other tips to reduce mozzie breeding include keeping gutters free of leaves or other blockages, putting sand in pot plant saucers to absorb water and screening open tanks with gauze.

“Make sure to keep swimming pools well chlorinated, and septic system leach pipes and vents should be covered,” Mr Atherfold said.

“Screening windows and doors will greatly reduce the chances of mosquitoes entering your house. Insect repellents are effective against mosquitoes but finding the right one is the key. Try mosquito coils, repellent candles or citronella or any Metofluthrin products, available at most supermarkets and hardware stores,” he said.

 
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