Preventing Mosquito Problems
Severe illness is arising from mosquito bites is on the increase in Australia and it is not just a northern Australian problem. Keep updated on the recent spread of mosquito-borne birth deformities being reported around the globe.
1. Remove Mosquito Habitats Around Your Home and Workplace
Mosquitoes need water for 2 stages of their life cycle so it is important that you monitor any standing water sources around your place. Here are some tips:
• Get rid of any unintended standing water in gutters that may be clogged by leaf litter, old tyres, buckets, toys etc – any other container that this small creature can breed.
• Empty completely and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools and pot plant base trays often i.e. at least once a week to eliminate any mosquito habitats.
• Keep swimming pool water and spa water treated and circulating.
• Think like a mosquito – look for potential breeding grounds.
2. Prevent Your Exposure to Mosquitoes
• Use mosquito repellents when necessary and follow directions and precautions closely.
• If in an area where mosquitoes are known to be e.g. damp areas, mangroves etc. wear appropriate clothing. Cover any gaps in your clothing when mosquitoes can access your skin.
• In areas with high mosquito populations (e.g. the tropics – rain forest or coastal strips) it is advisable to wear long pants and long sleeves and use head nets if venturing out to bushwalk or go fishing.
• In areas where there is a mosquito-borne disease warning in effect, it is advisable to stay indoors at sunrise and sunset. It is at these times that mosquitoes are most active.
3. Use Structural Barriers to Protect Your Family from Mosquito-Borne Diseases
• Fill the gaps in window frames, doors and walls to prevent them from entering.
• Check that your fly screens are truly insect-proof – no holes, no gaps.
• Completely cover baby cots, carriers and prams with netting.
• Install mosquito nets above the children’s beds – they can be made to look great and an exciting hide-away for the child.
• Sling a mosquito net from a tree branch in your garden over summer. Ensure it can be taken down easily at the end of the day. Create an inviting space under the net this would entice anyone outdoors.
Jan Couper M.Ed.,M.Env.