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Avoid the Mozzies this Wet, Warm Summer

By Northern Beaches Council
Posted: 1 Nov 2020
Image by 41330 from Pixabay
Ahead of a forecast wetter than normal summer, Northern Beaches Council will ramp up its strategy to prevent mosquitoes spoiling our precious outdoor lifestyle.

Australia has entered a La Niña weather pattern this spring and summer, which will bring above-average rainfall and hence more stagnant water to provide ideal breeding environments for mosquitoes.

Experts from NSW Health have determined that the pest and public health risks associated with mosquitoes on the Northern Beaches will be highly dependent on seasonal climatic conditions.

Council’s campaign comes as a report into a mosquito monitoring program earlier this year at several Northern Beaches wetlands found eleven detections of viruses of public health concern, such as Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses that have been present in mosquitoes from areas around Narrabeen Lagoon and Warriewood Wetlands.

Council acted quickly by issuing an alert urging people to take appropriate precaution against mosquito bites.

Mayor Michael Regan said Council will work closely with NSW Health in monitoring mosquitoes throughout summer.

“Monitoring will assess mosquito populations, identify species that may be hazardous to public health, alert us to take early control action in high-risk areas and to issue public alerts,” Cr Regan said.

“As well as ongoing monitoring, we are undertaking a public education program that will include an information hub on our website, advice and education to the community via social media and on-site signage.

“We don’t want pesky mozzies ruining our outdoor time this summer. Because we can expect a wetter summer, we are going to repeat our simple advice on how to keep those nasty bugs at bay.”

“These viruses can cause illness in humans and the most effective way to prevent people becoming unwell is to avoid being bitten,” said Dr Michael Staff, Director of the Northern Sydney Local Health District Public Health Unit.

NSW Health advice on simple steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes include:

  • Avoid being outside unprotected at dusk, when mosquitoes are commonly active and cover up as much as possible with light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing and covered footwear.
  • Apply mosquito repellent regularly to exposed areas. Repellents containing Diethyl Toluamide or Picaridin recommended. Repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus can also provide adequate protection.
  • Don’t use repellents on the skin of children under the age of three months. Instead use physical barriers such as netting on prams, cots and play areas.
  • Eradicate mosquito breeding sites around the home, including containers that hold water.
  • Use flyscreens on windows and doors of houses and keep them in good order.

The Northern Beaches Council Mosquito Management Plan is available here.

 
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