WHILE the Christmas rain has been great for gardeners, it can also result in an explosion in the number of mosquitoes and associated diseases.
Ipswich City Council has warned residents to be on the lookout for potential breeding sites over the coming weeks, in an effort to reduce the chances of people picking up mosquito-borne diseases such as Ross River Fever.
Health and community safety committee chairman Andrew Antoniolli said that tackling mosquitoes in Ipswich over summer was a job for the whole community.
"Mozzies can carry diseases such as Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus and dog heartworm which can infect our pets," he said.
"They can also be a real nuisance when we're trying to relax outdoors.
Mosquitoes are considered pests under the Public Health Act 2005 and Ipswich City Council takes its responsibility to control mosquito levels in the community seriously.
Residents have been asked to search for and remove any potential breeding sites in their yard - particularly any plastic containers, tanks, tyres, bird baths, pot plant trays or buckets where water is allowed to sit stagnant for long periods.
Cr Antoniolli said removing breeding sites could not only protect the individual home owner, but also their neighbours, from potential mosquito infestation.
People can also protect themselves by using insect repellent and covering up with long-sleeved shirts and pants, especially between dusk and dawn, when mozzies are most active.
Four things to do to reduce the mosquito risk near your home:
- Empty all containers, clean gutters and ensure your water tank screens are in good order;
- Use insect repellent. Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. However, some species bite through the day;
- Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants, and covered shoes. In addition, remember that mosquitoes can bite through lightweight, tight clothing so wear loose fitting clothing; and
- Fit insect screens to windows and doors.