NSW HEALTH

WARNING - MOSQUITOES ARE A HEALTH HAZARD

AROUND DUSK THIS SUMMER, USE A REPELLENT AND COVER UP AGAINST MOSQUITO BORNE DISEASE.

Mosquitoes spread human disease, such as Murray Valley encephalitis and Ross River virus. During this summer holiday season around dusk each day, make sure you take special care to protect yourself, your family and friends.

USE A REPELLENT

Most mosquitoes become active around dusk although some species are active also during the day. The key time to take special care against mosquito bites is just prior to , and for two hours after dusk, the time of the day when many of us go outside.

Your chances of being mosquito bitten at this time are extremely high, particularly if you are unprotected and exposed.

COVER UP AND TAKE CARE

It only takes common sense to reduce your chances of picking up a serious mosquito borne infection.

  • Use an effective repellent on exposed skin areas re apply within a few hours, as protection wears off from perspiration, particularly on hot nights.

  • The best mosquito repellents contain DIETHYL TOLUAMIDE (DEET less than 20%) check the label

  • Provide mosquito netting, outdoors, where necessary.

  • Cover up as much as possible with loose fitting clothing and sensible footwear. Avoid tight clothes.

  • Cover your clothes with repellent as mosquitoes can bite through material, BE CAREFUL, some repellents stain clothes.

  • Light mosquito coils or use vaporizing mats NOTE: Devices using light as an attractant to electrocute insects have not been shown to effectively reduce overall mosquito numbers.

  • Ensure you cover all windows, doors, chimneys, vents and other entrances with insect screens that are in GOOD CONDITION.

NOTE: Prolonged or excessive use of repellents can be dangerous, particularly on babies and young children. Avoid putting repellent near eyes and mouth, spread sparingly over the skin and rinse off once indoors.

CREATING A LOW RISK ZONE

Mosquitoes breed in stagnant ground water. Their breeding sites include swamps, ground pools and containers. It only takes two to three weeks to produce large numbers of mature mosquitoes. Then they travel as far as 10km from their breeding place in search of food, resting and breeding along the way.

During the day mosquitoes will rest and hide in cool shady areas from direct heat before emerging at dusk to feed.

Your home could be a potential site for mosquitoes, so take steps to reduce mosquito numbers and your exposure to mosquito borne disease. Keep your yard well maintained and regularly mow lawns and clear vegetation areas of moist tangled undergrowth.

Don't grow your own mosquitoes. Clean up your yard and remove all water holding rubbish, regularly flush out pot plant bases, keep house guttering clear and make sure openings of septic tanks/water tanks are covered/screened securely.

AND FOR THE FARMERS

If you live on a farm, mosquitoes can breed in a number of places:

  • Keep dams and ground pools free of vegetation.

  • Make sure dam walls and irrigation bays don't have water leaks that can produce large numbers of mosquitoes.

  • Do not over irrigate so that water collects in low lying areas for long periods of time.

  • Do not let irrigation water flow into and lie undisturbed in roadside table drains.

 

Back to top