Common containers around our homes which collect rainwater or water from reticulation systems, can become suitable habitats for mosquito breeding. The mosquito species that breeds in these containers is a known transmitter of the Ross River Virus disease.
There are hundreds of other species of mosquitos which breed in other water bodies, such as road drains, septic tanks, disused swimming pools, saltmarshes…….etc…. Some of these species also can transmit Ross River Virus.
It is important for all of us to do what we can to minimise mosquito breeding in order to reduce their impact on our health and lifestyle.
Mosquitoes breed in standing water. For example, pot plant trays, bird baths, water tanks, domestic ponds and roof gutters. To prevent them breeding in your backyard try the following:
- Get rid of containers which hold water;
- Keep mosquito-eating fish, like gold fish and pygmy perch, in garden ponds and eliminate vegetation around the edges of the pond;
- Keep swimming pools well chlorinated, filtered and free of dead leaves;
- Fill or drain depressions in the ground that hold water;
- Ensure the vent pipes on your septic tank systems are fitted with mosquito proof cowls. Seal all gaps in the lid and ensure leach drains are completely covered;
- Fit rainwater tanks with insect-proof mesh, including inlet, overflow and inspection ports. Also ensure your guttering is water-free;
- Empty pot plant drip trays once a week or fill them with sand; and
- Empty and clean animal and pet drinking water weekly.
Two of the most common mosquito-borne viruses in WA are Ross River Virus (RRV) and Barmah Forest Virus (BFV). Both viruses have similar symptoms and life cycles.
Symptoms can vary between people and include painful and/or swollen joints, sore muscles, aching tendons, skin rashes, fever, tiredness, headaches and swollen lymph nodes. While there’s no treatment for either RRV or BFV, your doctor can provide some relief. You can find out more about these and other mosquito-borne diseases on this Department of Health website.
Our Control Program
The Town of Bassendean is vigilant in the management of mosquito breeding and has a monitoring and control program in place. This program includes:
- Routine monitoring of known salt marsh mosquito breeding sites;
- Regular trapping of adult mosquitoes to gauge numbers;
- Identification of mosquito species;
- Treatment of mosquito breeding on public land;
- Enforcement of local laws in relation to breeding on private property;
- Investigation of complaints about excessive breeding;
- Follow up questionnaires with residents who contract a mosquito-borne disease; and
- Health promotion activities.
The Town of Bassendean is also a member of the East Swan River CLAG with the Cities of Bayswater, Belmont and Swan and the Town of Victoria Park. For more information on our mosquito monitoring and control Program, have a look at our pamphlet.
‘Fight the Bite’ mozzie campaign
Launched in November 2016, the Fight the Bite campaign (Healthy WA) is aimed at reducing mosquito-borne diseases that afflict individuals, communities and the healthcare system.
The three central messages are to:
- cover up
- repel (use repellent)
- clean up areas around the home where mosquitoes can breed.