Mosquito Management

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Mosquitos

Shire Environmental Health Officers have been monitoring the king tides to identify periods when saltmarsh breeding should be checked. An aerial survey of surrounding saltmarshes was conducted on Wednesday 5 January which identified over 2 ha of mosquito larvae in the One Tree Point area about 5 km from the centre of Carnarvon. This is easily within the flight path of the saltmarsh mosquito and would result in significant mosquito activity in Carnarvon over the coming weeks. The total area of mosquito larvae is larger than the Festival Grounds. Shire Environmental Health Officers hand treated the entire area by wading through the water and samphire habitat. It is expected that 60-80% of the mosquitoes will be killed thereby thinning out the entire batch. However over the next week or 2 if the wind drops it is expected that there will still be enough to make their presence felt in Carnarvon. Survivors will emerge as adults over the coming days but typically the females would wait until a calm night before journeying out to find a blood meal.

While saltmarsh mosquitoes (Aedes vigilax) have been known to occur in Carnarvon from December, typically the main season for them here is April through June and the tide predictions for 2022 would support that for this year. Additionally, given that the climate for 2022 is expected to be similar to 2021, the Shire will be using the available resources to monitor and treat at the source where possible. Now is a good time to ensure that any screen doors and windows are in good repair to enable night-time ventilation in the summer conditions without letting in the mosquitoes.

 

Midges

Midges love the wet, cool conditions. These aren’t known for spreading any diseases to humans but they can bite exposed skin in large numbers which can result in irritating and painful bite marks. They breed in wet grassy or muddy areas and it takes at least 3 weeks after hatching in wet conditions to the emergence of adult midges. The appearance of adults is often associated with new and full moons. 

Biting midges are one of the most difficult groups of insects to control as no chemicals are currently registered in Australia to control their breeding sites and there is no effective chemical control of adult midges.

FAQ’s

 

When are the Midges most active?

Biting midges are most active under calm, humid conditions and tend to bite around dawn and dusk.

How do I protect myself & my family?
  • Thoroughly cover up exposed skin particularly on the lower body nearer the ground.
  • Avoid loose shirts that allow midges to fly under and bite the torso.
  • Apply personal insect repellents to exposed skin.
  • Cover up babies and protect the pram with fine mesh or breathable fabric if outdoors.

 

How do I relieve the itching?
  • A cool shower can ease the itching and some report that the application of vinegar to the bites can also provide relief.
  • Antihistamines can be taken to reduce inflammatory reactions from bites
  • Try not to scratch the bites and seek medical attention if required. If an emergency situation occurs due to inflammation, call 000.

 

More information can be found at the following link: https://bit.ly/3pSZNAh