HORSHAM Rural City Council has received state government money to survey and exterminate mosquitoes in Horsham and Northern Grampians.
Rain and flooding in 2016 and continued wet conditions has led to an increase in mosquitoes, and the rise in Ross River virus infections has prompted the need for enhanced activities.
Horsham council’s field officer will be checking for potential larvae breeding sites and treating the water where they are found.
The officer will also trap live adult mosquitoes to determine which species are present within Horsham Rural City and Northern Grampians municipal areas.
Storm water drains in both areas will also be treated.
Potential breeding sites include still and stagnant water bodies with vegetation that allows protection of larvae while growing.
Areas of particular concern are those adjacent to populated areas and those frequented by tourists or for recreation.
Mosquitos can also breed in stagnant water around residential areas.
Horsham council senior environmental health officer Luke Mitton, said there were a number of ways residents could remove potential breeding sites around the home or workplace.
“It is important for us to tip water out from pot plants, tyres, bird baths, and ponds, to change the water in pet bowls and water troughs daily, and to check gutters and other spots around the home that may collect water,” Mr Mitton said.
“If water cannot be removed, Council encourages the use of larvicide to prevent the growth of mosquito larvae in pots, ponds, and bird baths.
“Products are available at hardware stores. Please ensure that individual product instructions are followed and do not use if restrictions apply.”
Mr Mitton said residents should also take appropriate precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitos.
“It’s wise to try and avoid being outside during dusk and dawn as this is when mosquitos are most active. We should also be wearing loose clothing, making sure our fly screens are properly fitted, and using mosquito netting when away or camping,” he said.
“Mosquito repellent containing DEET or Picaridin is most effective and should be applied to bare skin on adults, and onto the clothes of children.”
For more information, contact Council’s Environmental Health department or visit the Victorian Government’s ‘Beat the Bite’ website.