Beat the Bite
Dec 07 2010
The Shire of Ashburton has issued a mosquito and sandfly alert to residents and holidaymakers, particularly those living or holidaying near coastal areas and creeks, to cover up over the summer months.
Shire of Ashburton Aboriginal Environmental Health Officer Lawrence Lukale said the main breeding season started in December and would continue until August 2011, so it was important for residents to remain vigilant and use precautionary measures to avoid getting bitten including avoiding exposure of the skin at night and wearing mosquito repellent.
Mr Lukale said areas which were prone to mosquito breeding during this time of the year included road gullies, ditches, creeks and salt marshes.
“The road gullies in Tom Price and other towns in the Shire are being treated by using a chemical that attacks the mosquito larvae.”
“There is a particular type of mosquito that bites continuously and is most unpleasant; however luckily infestations are limited to areas in salt water.”
In some cases people could become quite sensitive to the bite and suffer a reaction including restlessness, loss of sleep and nervous irritation, according to Mr Lukale. Other mosquitoes carry viruses including Kunjin, Murray Valley Encephalitis, Ross River or Barmah Forest, he said.
Mr Lukale said it was important for those living in the Shire to clear their backyards and workplaces of any collections of still water.“Mosquitoes will breed happily in these conditions, he said.”
Mr Lukale said Onslow residents needed to take additional precautionary measures to avoid getting bitten and the Shire of Ashburton had been proactive in controlling mosquito breeding grounds.
“The residents in Onslow will notice the Shire’s fogging machine out and about at roughly two week intervals however this is also dependant on weather conditions.”
“You can expect the apparatus which is mounted on a trailer to be producing a fog of insecticide along the streets at dusk and early morning.”
“The fog is only airborne for ten minutes in still air and residents are advised to stay indoors during this period.”
Control strategies to avoid getting bitten include:
- Apply mosquito repellent regularly (every four hours).
- Regular check of animal containers. These should be emptied and refilled once a week.
- Maintain household swimming pools or empty them when not in use.
- Eliminate water holding containers such as tins and jars. Screen all water tanks and septic tanks to avoid entry of mosquitoes.
- Use an insecticide in sleeping areas, according to instructions.
- Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothes with long sleeves and long trousers: mosquitoes are attracted to dark coloured clothes and can bite through tight clothes.
- Ensure flyscreens on houses, caravans and annexes are in good order. When camping, take precautions such as using flyscreens on caravans and tents, and by sleeping under mosquito nets.
- Take particular care while fishing, ensuring that you follow personal precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Control mosquitoes that enter your house or caravan with a 'knock-down' insecticide aerosol spray.
Shire of Ashburton Aboriginal Environmental Health Officer Lawrence Lukale on (08) 9188 4444.