Mosquitoes

There are a number of different mosquitoes that can impact you, your family and your pets.

The predominant ones in Cassowary Coast are:

• saltmarsh mosquitoes (Aedes vigilax) - breed in saltmarsh and mangrove habitats

• freshwater breeding mosquitoes (Culex annulirostris) – breed after rainfall

• container breeding mosquitoes (Aedes notoscriptus) – usual habitat is the home garden & containers

Saltmarsh mosquitoes (Aedes vigilax) breed in:

• saltmarsh

• wetlands

Although the saltmarsh mosquito lives only for a few weeks the adult mosquito can travel 10km to feed, with females returning to the wetlands to lay her eggs. During the warmer months, the water temperature rises and this rapidly increases the speed at which larvae grow, resulting in an egg becoming an adult mosquito in just five-to-six days.

With each mosquito capable of laying hundreds of eggs at a time, adult numbers can escalate quickly. During especially hot, dry periods, multiple generations of saltmarsh mosquito eggs can lay dormant on wetland shores for months. Sudden, heavy rains or a significant high tide that submerges these eggs, can then trigger a mass hatching (of eggs to larvae stage).

Freshwater breeding mosquitoes (Culex annulirostris) breed in:

• shallow freshwater pools • grassy drains and depressions

• rural areas such as cane fields & banana plantations

The common banded freshwater-breeding mosquito is a carrier of Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses in Queensland. Other freshwater breeding mosquitoes can also carry these viruses, as well as heartworm, which effects cats and dogs. Landowners are responsible for managing of the control of mosquitoes on their land.

Container-breeding mosquitoes (Aedes notoscriptus) breed in:

• natural containers such as:  tree cavities and bromeliads

• made containers such as:  pot plant saucers, bird baths, discarded tyres, garden rubbish, roof gutters, unmaintained, unchlorinated swimming pools, poorly-maintained rainwater tanks.

Adult container-breeding mosquitoes lay their eggs above the water line in containers. The eggs remain dormant until rain or watering fills these containers, triggering the eggs to hatch into larvae.

Adult mosquitoes will be abundant about a week after this happens. This species also occurs in winter in well-watered gardens and can transmit heartworm to pets. Control of this species requires property owners to be aware of breeding sites and remove or manage them.

Help keep these mosquitoes out of our region by remembering that anything around your property that can fill with water is a potential breeding site. Protect yourself and your household You can protect yourself by:

• limiting your time in mosquito-prone areas, especially around dawn and dusk

• wearing loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing with long sleeves and long trousers

• using a personal insect repellent containing picaridin or DEET on exposed skin

• screening doors and windows or using air conditioning

• sleeping under a mosquito bed net

• using mosquito coils, lanterns and insecticide emanators

• switching on a fan as the airflow produced will help keep mosquitoes away

• Removing potential breeding sites • managing containers which can become water-filled around your property

• screening and maintaining your rainwater tanks. Council does not provide mosquito fogging services.

For further information on How To Keep Your Water Tank Safe from mosquitoes, visit: Rainwater factsheet

For further information on Mosquitoes visit: Are you Mozzie Ready?

For further information on Prevention of Mosquitoes After a Storm, Flood or Cyclone visit:Prevention after a Storm, Flood or Cyclone

For further information on Removing Potential Breeding Sites, visit: Potential Breeding Sites

For more information on dengue see this Qld Health Dengue Factsheet and go to: www.health.qld.gov.au/dengue/ or download the factsheet Mosquito Breeding Investigations

For advice on control and prevention of mosquito breeding contact Council's Environmental Health Officers

Phone: 1300 763 903

Email: enquiries@cassowarycoast.qld.gov.au