Council takes fight to mozzies

Redland City Council has deployed a team of pest management officers to inspect mosquito populations across the city and launch a plan to reduce numbers for residents following yesterday’s rain.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council officers would proactively inspect known breeding spots from today.

“We have a team that works all year round to battle mosquitoes and they will be out today and over the weekend to survey the region and we will then start treating areas that require it,” she said.

“They will pay particular attention to coastal areas such as our islands in an attempt to break the breeding cycle.

“The sites we treat are usually water bodies or saltmarsh areas where we can target the mosquito larvae or ‘wrigglers’ when they are in the water, before they become adults and can fly.

“For example our pest management officers are on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands on at least a weekly basis, if not more frequently.”

Cr Williams said Council had an array of land, air and water-based treatment techniques they could deploy.

“We conduct both aerial treatments of larger sites following major tides or rain events like yesterday’s, as well as constant ground treatments of mosquito larvae,” she said.

“Council has completed 19 aerial treatments using helicopters so far this financial year, which is a record number of treatments. We have also completed many hundreds of ground treatments.”

Council’s Regional Mosquito Management Group Chair Cr Paul Golle said while there had been an increase in the number of mosquitoes this year, this did not translate to an increase in related health issues.

“This season has seen an increase in the numbers of adult mosquitoes, so it has been challenging locally as well as for neighboring Council areas, and the current weather event may also impact on mosquito breeding,” he said.

“The good news is that although we have an increase in the numbers of mosquitoes, we have not had a corresponding increase in cases of related illnesses in the Redlands, such as Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus.

“The Redlands also has not had any cases of locally acquired Dengue. We do not have the mosquito (Aedes aegypti) that transmits Dengue and Council conducts regular surveillance for this exotic species.

“Residents should remember mosquitoes are endemic in our coastal environment and Council is not able to completely eradicate them from the environment. We ask that residents bear with us while we battle the seasonal influx of mosquitoes and take precautions, including:

  • Wear light coloured, long, loose fitting clothing and use insect repellent.
  • Where possible avoid being outside during peak activity periods at dusk and dawn.
  • Reduce mosquito breeding around your home by emptying water from household items such as pot plant bases, boats, blocked roof gutters and old tyres.
  • Make sure insect screens are in good condition.

The same precautionary measures apply for biting midges, however if midges are making their way through fly screens consider fine-mesh fly screens or treating screens with UV stable insecticide.

There are no approved chemicals to treat biting midge larvae in their prime breeding grounds, which are natural coastal habitats. It is also illegal to spray these areas with insecticides.

Chemical sprays for adult biting midges would harm insects and creatures that are important to our ecosystem. Midges do not transmit diseases to humans in Australia.

Council partners with industry research bodies and other Councils to keep up to date with the latest research and practices.

Mosquito spraying is safe for you and the environment. Learn how to protect yourself against mosquitoes or phone 3829 8999.