Mosquito monitoring is underway as rainfall and warm weather creates the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

From 04 December 2023, Northern Beaches Council resumed participation in the NSW Arbovirus Surveillance and Mosquito Monitoring Program facilitated by NSW Health. The program aims to detect mosquitoes that carry human pathogens such as Ross River virus, Japanese encephalitis and Barmah Forest virus.

With weekly monitoring until April 2024, the first month of testing has provided some reassurance, with no pathogens detected in the samples taken so far from the Northern Beaches. Carelessness should be avoided however, with breeding conditions ideal for mosquitoes, and data collected across NSW showing numbers are on the rise.

Despite the lack of human pathogens detected locally at Warriewood Wetlands and Deep Creek (Narrabeen Lagoon), people are urged not to be complacent.

Avoid getting bitten by taking the following steps:

  • Wear long, loose-fitting and light-coloured clothing and covered footwear to minimise skin exposure
  • Use personal insect repellents, with the most effective products containing either Diethyl Toluamide (DEET), Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE). This is the first line of protection against biting mosquitoes. Certain products are not recommended to use on children under three months of age, instead use physical barriers such as netting on prams, cots and play areas.
  • Use flyscreens on windows and doors and keep them in good order
  • Avoid being outside unprotected at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are commonly active
  • Ensure water-filled containers such as pot-plant saucers, birdbaths, children’s toys, roof gutters, rainwater tanks, or water-holding plants like bromeliads, are regularly flushed out and emptied to minimise a breeding ground
  • Fill pot-plant bases with sand to avoid standing water
  • Keep lawns mowed
  • Visit NSW Health for more tips on how to control mosquitoes around your property

Northern Beaches Mayor Sue Heins said this is the fifth year Council has participated in the program.

Sue Heins

Sue Heins

“The mozzie season is well underway and they are a nuisance, but unfortunately, we have to live with them and there are some environments on the Beaches which are more prone to them.

“While the good news is that no viruses such as Ross River fever or Barmah Forest fever were detected on the Northern Beaches last season, it always pays to remain vigilant and take precautions,” said Mayor Heins.

For more information on what Council is doing to reduce the risk of mosquitoes, you can view the Northern Beaches Council Mosquito Management Plan.

The NSW Arbovirus Surveillance and Mosquito Monitoring Program commenced on 04 December 2023 and will continue until 30 April 2024. If any mosquitoes are detected to be carrying viruses, a public health alert will be issued.

Image: Envato

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