Mosquitos

We love getting outdoors while the weather is warm. The problem is so do the mozzies!

They’re not just annoying; some mosquitoes can transmit serious diseases.

The Shire of Moyne covers a vast area of 5,478 square kilometres and contains a vast array of rivers, creeks, wetlands, and estuarine areas; potential mosquito breeding environments. The main trigger for mosquito breeding in the Shire results from late Spring rainfall, Summer and Autumn rainfall, combined with the warmer Spring/Summer/Autumn temperatures.

Mosquito management

 Mosquito management incorporates the health, environmental and socio-economic values across the Shire.

 while disease control is the primary focus, reduction of nuisance mosquitoes is a legitimate aspect of improved community well-being;

  • mosquitoes are an important part of the ecosystem and their treatment may have both positive and negative impacts on the environment; so management options will try to minimise negative impacts;
  • effective mosquito management requires the cooperation and coordination of all stakeholders.

What we do

We carry out a mosquito control monitoring and treatment program throughout the Shire on a needs basis each year, depending on weather conditions conducive to mosquito infestation.

This mosquito management program involves monitoring and treatment of breeding sites in line with the breeding cycle of the 3 main mosquito species in the Moyne Shire area.

All activities are carried out to manage the mosquito population and conducted to best practice principles to ensure the environment is not adversely affected. We use nationally approved biological products in our mosquito control.

The program normally operates from September to late March each year. Generally, mosquito numbers are low during the winter months, therefore monitoring and treatment are not needed during this period.

There are however limitations to any responsible program of this nature and this may be why there are still mosquitoes in the area. 

Monitoring mosquito larvae

The treatment we use in our mosquito management program is aimed at reducing mosquito larvae before they emerge as adults and lay eggs. This is the most effective and environmentally friendly way to manage mosquitoes.

Adult mosquitoes lay eggs on the water’s surface and hatch into larvae, commonly called wrigglers - they look like little worms wriggling at the water’s surface. 

Larvae need stagnant (or still) water to survive. They breathe at the surface of the water through a siphon and feed on plant materials in the water.

Larvae live in water for 7-14 days, depending on the water temperature. They turn into pupae for 1-2 days and then emerge as adult mosquitoes.

Environmental Health Officers check larvae levels by entering the wetlands and dipping in known breeding sites.

Mosquitoes - Breeding sites

We undertake monitoring and treatment to minimise mosquito breeding in wetlands and marshes in both salt water and fresh water environments, as well as various drainage and easement sites. 

We do this to ensure that: 

  • Mosquito numbers do not become excessive
  • The health of our community is protected
  • We can enjoy the great outdoor areas that our municipality has to offer

Breeding sites can appear anywhere, however our monitoring reduces the potential numbers of airborne mosquitoes.

Breeding site map

This map shows the majority of our breeding sites. Many other drainage and easement sites are monitored and treated however do not appear on this map.

 
Mosquito Management Program - Monitoring and Treatment

We monitor and treat known breeding sites as part of our mosquito management program. 

The program is focused on the management of primarily mosquito larvae (and adult mosquito control if required).

The four major components of the program are:

  1. Monitoring Our staff monitor mosquito breeding sites around Port Fairy and other populated parts of the Shire on a weekly basis to check for mosquito larvae. Depending on the number of larvae detected at the site, a decision is made as to what type of treatment would be most effective.
  2. Ground treatment If breeding sites are easily accessible, staff can treat the area manually. Breeding sites around townships like pits and drains are always treated by ground based methods
  3. Light trapping
    Mosquito light trapping is done at certain sites around the Shire to monitor adult mosquito levels. The number of mosquitoes caught in each trap gives us an indication of the mosquito levels in a particular area. Light traps are not used to reduce the overall mosquito population.

What you can do

Stop mosquitoes breeding around your home

Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water.

Eliminating potential breeding sites for mosquito larvae can reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home.

  • Inspect your house and yard to see if any water is lying around
  • Inspect horse water troughs weekly
  • Empty containers that may hold water, including old tyres, buckets, tins and rubbish bins
  • Empty bird baths and pet water dishes on a weekly basis
  • Put sand around the bases of pot plants to absorb excess water  
  • Keep swimming pools salted and chlorinated and empty them completely when not in use for long periods
  • Ensure that fish ponds are stocked with fish
  • Overturn boats and dinghies or remove the drain plug so they do not hold water
  • Cover all openings and inlets to rainwater tanks, wells, or other large water containers with screens or wire gauze no coarser than 1mm mesh
  • Keep roof gutters in good repair and remove leaves and debris so pools of water do not form
  • Keep lawns and gardens well maintained so that you are not providing shelter for adult mosquitoes
  • Mend leaking taps.