Posted: 7 November, 2016 by Loz

We're expecting more mosquitoes this Summer

And here's why

Tags: mosquito, summer, WA, southwest

Not too many people are impressed with the lack of Spring weather we're seeing lately and you're probably not going to like what it means for mosquito season.

We're being asked to take extra precautions this summer to avoid being bitten by mosquitos.

As summer approaches and brings even warmer weather than usual, there'll be more mosquito activity and therefore a greater risk of mosquito-borne disease.

Shire of Augusta Margaret River Environmental Health Officer, Anne Marie Laddie said although there were below average numbers of mosquitoes last summer, higher mosquito numbers were expected to return this year.

“Recent substantial rainfall combined with increasing temperatures and predictions of higher than usual tidal activity in coming months are likely to favour increased breeding of mosquitoes, “she said.

Ms Laddie said the Shire was undertaking mosquito surveillance work at selected locations with the view to develop a mosquito control program if needed.

“Whilst mosquito numbers are being watched closely, it is important that the community remain mindful of the risks of mosquito-borne disease.”

“Mosquitoes in the South West can transmit Ross River virus (RRV) and Barmah Forest virus (BFV),” she said.

“Given there is no vaccine or specific cure for either disease, the best way to avoid infection is to prevent mosquito bites.”

Symptoms of RRV and BFV include painful or swollen joints, sore muscles, skin rashes, fever, fatigue and headaches.

They can last for weeks or even months and the only way to properly diagnose the viruses is by having a specific blood test. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should visit their GP.

Here's a few steps we can take to avoid the mosquitoes:

  • avoid outdoor activities particularly around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active
  • wear protective (long, loose-fitting, light coloured) clothing when outdoors
  • use insect repellent
  • empty or cover any standing water around the home or to reduce mosquito breeding
  • ensure insect screens are in good condition
  • use mosquito nets or mosquito-proof tents when camping or sleeping outside
  • ensure young children are adequately protected against mosquito bites

For more information , check out the Health Department's ‘Fight the Bite’ campaign

Tags: mosquito, summer, WA, southwest

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