Mosquitoes in the Urban Environment
Mosquitoes are a part of our natural environment and can breed in both fresh and salt water. Since we cannot eradicate them completely, we can take precautions to protect ourselves from being bitten.
- Screen all windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes coming inside;
- Mosquitoes are most active at dawn, around late afternoon and just after dusk. If you are outside at these times take precautions. Wear protective clothing, such as a pair of loose fitting pants and a loose fitting shirt. Use insect repellent although not as an alternative to wearing protective clothing;
- If you live in an unscreened house or are camping, sleep under a mosquito net;
- When mosquitoes are present, spray the rooms, particularly behind furniture and other dark places. After securing screens and closing doors, leave the room closed for half an hour before ventilating;
- Air conditioning, fans and mosquito coils are also effective in protecting you from those dreaded mosquitoes.
Controlling Mosquitoes around the Home
Residents can play a vital role in reducing mosquitoes around the home. Many species of mosquitoes commonly found in back yards are potential carriers of Ross River Virus, Barmah Forest Virus, Dengue Fever and dog heartworm. By taking the following steps (40KB PDF) you can control mosquitoes at your place:
- Inspect your house and yard and remove any accumulations of water;
- Empty pot plant bases weekly or fill the base with sand to absorb water;
- Bromeliads and other water holding plants should be washed out weekly;
- Clean roof gutters out regularly and trim back trees which can block gutters;
- Ensure rainwater tanks are screened;
- Keep swimming pools maintained;
- Birdbaths, fishponds and ornamental pools should be washed out weekly and where possible stock with suitable native fish;
- Stock dams with native fish and keep the edges clear of vegetation.
Remember—no water no mosquitoes
How Mosquitoes Breed
Mosquitoes only breed in water. However they can breed in freshwater, saltwater and polluted environments.
While both males and females feed on plant nectar to provide energy for flight, only the females take blood meals in order to provide protein for egg development. Not all female mosquito species feed on humans. Some prefer animals, birds or reptiles.
All mosquitoes develop in water that is very slow moving or still. They develop through four distinct stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. In summer, once the eggs hatch the larval stage takes 4 to 5 days and the pupal stage 1 to 2 days, to complete their development in 5 to 7 days.
A single female can lay up to 200 eggs at a time. Between 10% to 90% of these eggs develop into mature mosquitoes. A flower pot base can support 150 larva or wrigglers!!
What Council is Doing
Gladstone Regional Council currently has in place a program to control mosquitoes in the major breeding sites, particularly around Gladstone. The program includes both fresh and saltwater species.
Throughout the year and particularly from October to May, Council’s vector control staff are monitoring and treating breeding sites to reduce the number of mosquitoes affecting residents. Due to the sensitive nature of the environment in which mosquitoes breed only approved environmentally safe products are used. However the extent of potential breeding sites is such that it is not always possible to eliminate large adult populations from affecting residential areas. A mosquito management forum has been established to include other industries and agencies involved in mosquito control in the Gladstone Calliope area.
Council will record, investigate and monitor complaints received from the public. However, in some situations it is impractical to implement control measures. Council's prime focus is to reduce the incidence of Ross River Virus and Barmah Forest Virus within the region. Click here to read council's mosquito management plan (65 KB PDF)
Click here to download council's mosquito management brochure (86KB PDF)
Contact Council's Environmental Health Section:
Phone: (07) 4976 6996
Fax: (07) 4975 8500
Address: PO Box 29, Gladstone DC Qld 4680
In Person:Civic Centre, 101 Goondoon Street, Gladstone