Mosquito warning after heavy rains
  • Thursday 04 February 2010

Heavy rains – combined with the weekend’s king tides – have created perfect conditions for a surge in mosquito numbers across the region, Sunshine Coast Council has warned.

With tides exceeding 2.7 metres over the weekend, the conditions were ideal for mosquito breeding along the Sunshine Coast.
In response, council staff have been out sampling tidal areas and marshes for mosquito larvae.

Council’s Manager of the Healthy Places Unit, Jason Brewer, advised that unusually high numbers of mosquito larvae have been detected in salt marshes right across the region.

Applications of larvicides to stop the emergence of the salt marsh mosquito, Aedes vigilax, are most effective when done as soon as possible after high tides.

But aerial applications of chemical mosquito treatments by helicopter were hampered by the wet and gusty conditions earlier this week.

“Limited salt marsh breeding areas in the Caloundra region were treated on Monday and additional aircraft based at Cooroy are on standby to commence treatments in the Maroochydore and Noosa areas the moment weather permits,” he said.

“The current seasonal conditions will generate the breeding of a wide variety of mosquitoes on the coastal and hinterland areas.

“As council does not have the capacity to economically treat all mosquitoes, the proposed aerial treatments are primarily focused on the salt marsh areas.”

Mr Brewer advised the community to cover up over the coming days.

“Residents are advised that it is highly likely that there will be a substantial increase in adult mosquito numbers in the next few days and are encouraged to empty containers around the home that may breed mosquitoes, use insect repellent when outdoors if possible and keep screen doors shut to avoid being bitten,” he said.

“Those on rural properties may wish to consider stocking dams and ponds with fish that consume mosquito larvae.”

Mosquitoes have the potential to transmit Ross River Fever, Barmah Forest Fever and encephalitis.