Mosquitoes: A Serious Health Risk

The Growing Mosquito Problem In Australia

A combination of powerful tides and warm air has turned Australia into the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. The Australian mosquito population has seen a huge increase over the last year; to the point that the local authorities are advising people to take extra precautions to protect themselves. Mosquitoes might seem like little more than a nuisance, but they have the potential to carry some pretty nasty diseases.

Why The Sudden Increase?

This year has seen record numbers in regard to the mosquito population, but why? It’s actually a combination of several different factors. For starters, the mosquito population was already pretty large. Mosquitoes love the weather here and it’s only getting better for them.  Combine this warm weather with massive king tides and the problem begins to grow.

The combination of weather and tides has lead some cities to take extra steps to control the population. Brisbane, for example, has initiated its largest mosquito control effort in 15 years. This isn’t just so that people aren’t irritated by mosquitoes, but so they aren’t put at risk by the diseases the mosquitoes could carry. Brisbane city certainly isn’t the only region being affected by the rise in the mosquito population.

Unfortunately, the problem is just as bad near the center of the continent as well. Alice Springs has seen more than 200 mm of rain, which has led to some houses being nearly fully submerged in water. This is a problem in its own right, but as most of the rain leaves, there will still be many standing pools that remain.

These lifeless pools of water soon become stagnant breeding grounds for large swarms of mosquitoes. Much like Brisbane, Alice Springs is doing all that it can to control this growing problem while advising residents to do everything they can to protect themselves.

What Are The Risks?

The local governments wouldn’t put in so much effort if there weren’t some serious risks to consider. Mosquitoes can be host to a large variety of diseases, some that even result in coma, brain damage, and death. Australia is home to some pretty nasty diseases that aren’t as common anywhere else in the world, which make the problem all the more severe.

Murray Valley Encephalitis Virus (MVEV) is one of the biggest concerns accompanying the new mosquito problem. It’s already a serious problem in the northern regions of Australia and authorities are worried the mosquito population could cause it to spread. MVEV can lead to permanent brain damage and even death.

The spread of MVEV is already a problem during particularly rainy times. The spread often follows monsoon season because the Murray-Darling river floods. The mosquito population is likely a leading factor during these times. Most MVEV infections don’t lead to disease symptoms, but it’s still a serious concern and a good reason to protect yourself.

The Ross River virus (RRV) is more common than MVEV and a second risk that accompanies the mosquito problem. When transferred by mosquitoes it becomes the Ross River Fever. Ross River Fever can lead to symptoms resembling influenza and arthritis. It doesn’t lead to death, but it is believed it can lead to the development of symptoms that could last for years.

Ross River Fever can only be spread by mosquitoes. That means the best way to protect yourself from this condition is to protect yourself from the mosquitoes. The local governments are doing a lot of work, such as spraying more than 4,400 hectares of land, but there’s still more you can do yourself.

Protecting Yourself From Mosquitoes.

If you want to avoid these diseases and the other risks associated with mosquitoes in Australian, then you need to do everything you can to avoid mosquito bites. Luckily, protecting yourself from mosquitoes isn’t incredibly difficult. There are a lot of products on the market designed just for this sort of thing along with some simple things you can do yourself to stay out of harm’s way.

Clothes are your best protection against biting mosquitoes. Long sleeve clothes and pants will protect your skin. If any skin isn’t protected by clothing, then you should be using a high-quality repellent on those areas. Candles and coils designed to repel mosquitoes are also recommended if you’re staying in one spot.

Mosquito Control Gold Coast

Products sold for pest control anywhere in Australia should be listed and registered with the Mosquito Control Association of Australia before they are used. This will ensure the safety of the product and its effectiveness at killing adult mosquitoes.

mosquito feeding on a human arm

If a product contains just one of these effective mosquito poisons, you can bet that it is safe and effective at killing the types of adult mosquitoes that are typically found throughout the country. Here is a list approved chemicals you can use to kill mosquitoes in residential areas.

– Permethrin
– Pyrethrum
– Tetramethrin
– Cypermethrin
– Deltamethrin
– Bifenthrin

These chemicals are all legal in Australia as long as  they are used for the purpose of pest control. Obviously, you’re not supposed to put them in someone’s tea!

The Mosquito Control Association Of Australia Also Encourages Home Owners Too…

Home owners should not rely completely on poison for their pest control. There are several maintenance tasks you can do around the house that may cause a reduction in the amount of mosquitoes. Be sure to follow them all so you can use as few chemicals as possible.

You should keep your roof gutters clear of any leaves  or other vegetation. This can block the passage way and cause a build up of water as a result. Stagnant water attracts mosquitoes almost as well as a bug-vapour. Yet, it allows them to prosper instead of killing them.

You should also make sure all pots and pans located outside aren’t filled with water after it rains. Pots, weather empty or containing a plant and soil, can overflow after inclement weather. This can create more stagnant water to attract mosquitoes. Plus, excess water is sure to drown any plants you might have in your pots.

In mosquito season, or right after bad weather, you should also apply personal repellents to you and your family so that bugs are not attracted. A lot of personal repellents will repel ants as well as mosquitoes. The most effective bug repellents include chemicals, but natural ones that contain ingredients like patchouli work as well.

The Mosquito Control Association Of Australia Recommends That You Spray Diluted Pesticides

The chemicals approved for use mentioned above should be added into a power sprayer that also contains a generous amount of water. This spray should then be applied to the fence, shrubs, and around the front door. It is also recommended that you pay special attention to the bottom of leaves when you spray plants. Mosquitoes have a habit of resting during the daytime there.

Some Mosquitoes Are To Be Expected

In our hot and humid climate, it isn’t realistic to think that you can exterminate every mosquito. If you use these mosquito  control measures properly, you should be able to keep the spices down to a minimum. Be consistent and remember to pay extra care to your mosquito routine during times of wet weather. There are lots of effective measures to safely control the population of mosquitoes around your home.

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