Melissa Grant slaps a mosquito as it emerges from nearby vegetation. Residents are warned to wear full-length, loose-fitting clothes, use repellents and stay indoors at dusk and dawn to avoid being bitten.
Melissa Grant slaps a mosquito as it emerges from nearby vegetation. Residents are warned to wear full-length, loose-fitting clothes, use repellents and stay indoors at dusk and dawn to avoid being bitten. Lauren Reed

Sting in mozzie invasion

THE mosquito invasion has begun.

The miniscule insects have been out in force over the last few weeks due to a combination of high tides and rain in December.

Mackay Regional Council vector control officer Don Chatham said the mosquitos had been bad so far this year.

"We have had a significant increase in adult mosquitoes over the past two weeks," Mr Chatham said.

"The main reasons for the increase have been high tides (over 6.2m) prior to Christmas Day and periods of heavy rain, including optimum breeding temperatures.

"All of these contributing factors are pointing to a highly active mosquito season, not just for the Mackay region but for the whole of the eastern coast of Queensland."

Mr Chatham said one species in particular could be deadly.

"The main species identified at present is the Ochlerotatus Vigilax.

"It is a saltwater species, capable of transmitting Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus; that mosquito can also fly up to 50kms from its breeding site," he said.

"At present, vector control staff are continuing to treat with larvacide in all known breeding sites and are also conducting early morning ULV adulticide misting in targeted areas throughout Mackay in an attempt to reduce the mosquito population to a more acceptable level.

"All residents of affected areas should protect themselves from these biting insects and wear full-length, loose-fitting clothes; use personal repellents; and not venture into infested areas during the main feeding times (dusk and dawn)."

Rockhampton CQUniversity biology senior lecturer Bob Newby said it is the female mosquitoes that bite us.

"The female mosquito feeds on the blood for a high protein meal, whereas the males don't really eat."

Prof Newby said water was a major part of the mosquito's reproduction cycle.

"The main source for mozzies to breed is water that is lying around people's backyards," he said.

"They have to be in water as those larvae feed on algae, particularly in old tyres and pot plants."

To alert council to mosquito problems, call 1300 622 529.

 

HEALTH RISK

  • Queensland Health statistics show 170 cases of dengue fever were reported last year
  • More than 1000 Ross River virus cases were reported in Queensland last year


Turnbull's backdown on energy welcomed by CQ politicians

premium_icon Turnbull's backdown on energy welcomed by CQ politicians

A bright future for coal beckons after emissions target was ditched.

4WD towing laws to be toughened

premium_icon 4WD towing laws to be toughened

TOUGH new laws to be introduced by the Palaszczuk Government will stop upgrades to...

Cyclone Debbie damage and Kershaw Gardens on Rocky agenda

premium_icon Cyclone Debbie damage and Kershaw Gardens on Rocky agenda

Council to also look at application to turn one block into 126 lots

Local Partners