Mosquitoes are annoying insect pests which have the potential in this area to carry diseases such as Ross River Virus and Barmah Forest Virus.
What is Council doing?
Ballina Shire Council participates in a state-wide monitoring program through the NSW Ministry of Health.
The program involves the trapping of mosquitoes at a number of sites within the Ballina Shire. The mosquitoes are then sent to Westmead Hospital where they are identified, counted and species identified with arborvirus (Arthropal-borne viruses) isolated from the mosquitoes when present.
Results of the trapping and further information on the program is available on the Arbovirus website at The NSW Arbovirus Surveillance & Mosquito Monitoring Program
Council's Development Control Plan (DCP) includes requirements for developers in relation to mosquito management and has been prepared with the assistance of an entomologist. It requires insect screening to residential premises in those areas known to be impacted by mosquitoes and depending on the type of development and its location, there are specific requirements to be addressed by the proponents of new subdivisions and other significant developments.
The issue is also considered at rezoning stage.
In 2002, Council also engaged a consultant entomologist to undertake a feasibility study into developing a spraying program. The outcome of this study was a control program "would be difficult to achieve due to the extent and diversity of the mosquito problems present." Read the full Feasibility study mosquito management in Ballina Shire report here.
Further helpful information is available from the following sites:
- Mosquitoes Factsheet
- Biting Midges Factsheet
- Development Control Plan -Chapter 2, Item 3.6
- Mosquito Life Cycles, Ecology & Behaviour Factsheet
- Department of Medical Entomology
Why mosquitoes seem to bite some people more
There are over 400 chemical compounds on human skin that could play a role in attracting mosquitoes.
There's always one in a crowd, a person mosquitoes seem to target more than others. What is it about these unlucky few that make them so attractive to mosquitoes? Or is it the reaction people experience which make them think they are being targeted by mosquitoes.
Click here for more information on this topic.
What can you do?
Mosquitoes need water and a small amount of nutrient to breed. Your assistance and regular maintenance in the yard can help in the eradication of certain potential disease carrying mosquitoes.
- Avoid outdoor activity around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Use an effect repellent. (The best mosquito repellents contain Diethl Toluamide (DEET less than 20%) or Picaridin, so check the label).
- Cover up as much as possible. Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothing and sensible footwear.
Around the home
- Install flywire screens on all windows and self-closing wire screens on doors. Check them regularly and mend any holes.
- Dispose of all containers and other items collecting water in which mosquitoes can breed.
- Empty and wipe out all containers such as bird baths and other receptacles at least once a week. Remove pot plant bases or fill bases with sand.
- Screen all openings to tanks with 1mm mesh of stainless steel or other durable material.
- Maintain guttering and downpipes in clean and good repair to prevent pooling of water.
- Remove leaves and debris from roof guttering regularly so water cannot accumulate.
- Keep fishponds stocked with fish.
- Keep vegetation in yard well maintained and mow lawns regularly.