Mosquitoes are a significant public health concern because of their ability to act as a vector or carrier of diseases in humans and animals. Many species are well adapted to living in and around humans and breeding in artificial containers that are holding water. Mosquitoes breed in water so by removing pools of wastewater around your home you can prevent mosquitoes from breeding. During the warmer months of the year, mosquitoes can complete their lifecycle from egg to adult in as little as seven days.
What actions can we all take to reduce this public health risk?
- Inspect your house and yard especially after rain for pools of accumulated water. Empty these.
- Put sand around the bases of pot plants to absorb water in the dish. For outdoor pot plants you could remove the dish altogether.
- Dispose of all tins, jars, tyres and other rubbish items that may hold water.
- Empty all flower vases, pot plants, and other receptacles that hold water. Thoroughly wipe the inside of containers with a cloth to remove mosquito eggs. Destroy the cloth after use by burning or placing in the bin. Do not wash the cloth, as it will spread the eggs.
- Use a high-pressure spray from a garden hose to kill mosquito larvae, which breeds in plants, such as bromeliads, that hold pools of water.
Further preventative actions
- Drill holes in tyres used for swings, other playground equipment and garden surrounds to allow water to drain from them.
- Fill in any water holding cavities in trees, hollows and depressions and holes in the yard with soil or cement.
- Areas beneath houses raised on stumps are often lower than the surrounding ground and can provide a perfect shaded pond of water that will take a long time to evaporate or drain away.
- Remove leaves and debris from roof gutters, ensure they are in good repair, and drain properly so that pools of water do not form.
- Overturn boats, canoes and dinghies or leave upright remove bungs and elevate so that they do not hold water after rain.
- Screen all openings to rainwater tanks, wells or other large water containers with wire gauze no coarser than 1mm mesh. This prevents mosquitoes from laying eggs. Cut back and trim trees to prevent leaves and debris from blocking roof guttering.
- Dispose of wastewater in such a way that does not create ponding.
- Stock fish ponds and ornamental ponds with fish. Goldfish and native fish are recommended. Keep the side of the pond clear from waterweeds so the fish can get to the larvae.
- Ensure swimming pools are kept at the correct chlorine or salt levels. If your pool is to be neglected for a period of time, for any reason, arrange for someone to maintain your pool.
- Empty children’s wading pools after use and clean thoroughly with a cloth to remove mosquito eggs.
- Cap brick walls made of cavity bricks to prevent water from pooling in the walls.
- Empty birdbaths, pet drinking water at least once a week, and clean containers thoroughly to remove eggs.
- Ensure open drains and channels are free from obstructions, especially weeds, grass and other debris.