Mosquitoes can be a serious nuisance, particularly during warmer months as this is when they generally breed in higher numbers.
Occasionally, mosquitoes may spread disease-causing viruses such as Ross River, Barmah Forest and Murray Valley encephalitis virus.
It is therefore important that you try to avoid mosquito bites and take appropriate measures to ensure mosquitoes are not breeding at your property.
It is an owner or occupier’s responsibility to ensure that adequate measures are taken within their property to prevent mosquito breeding. Remember, mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and so it is important to ensure that you remove any potential breeding sites in and around your property. Below are some common steps that you can take to help eliminate breeding areas in your own backyard:
- dispose of all containers which have the potential to hold water
- keep ornamental ponds stocked with mosquito-eating fish (e.g. goldfish)
- keep ponds free of vegetation and keep water moving (e.g. a fountain)
- keep swimming pools well chlorinated, filtered and free of dead leaves
- fill or drain depressions in the ground that hold water and clear gutters of leaves and debris
- protect rainwater tanks with insect proof mesh over inlet, overflow and inspection ports
- empty pot plant drip trays once a week or fill them with sand
- empty and clean your pets’ drinking water bowl once a week.
More information can be found in the WA Department of Health’s publication Mosquitoes in Your Backyard.
There are also some simple steps that you and your family can take to help reduce mosquito bites:
- avoid outdoor exposure to mosquitoes from dusk and the first few hours after dark as this is when mosquitoes are most active
- wear protective long loose-fitting clothing when outdoors
- use a personal repellent containing diethyl toluamide (DEET) or picaridin – These are the most effective and long-lasting chemicals in repellent lotions or gels
- install insect screens on the doors and windows of your home, and on enclosed outdoor recreation areas
- ensure infants and children are adequately protected, preferably with suitable clothing, bed nets or other forms of insect screening.
For information on mosquito-borne diseases and mosquito management programs please contact the Town’s Environmental Health Department on 9383 6600.