Mosquitoes, vector & pest management
Mosquitoes are a public health hazard because they have the potential to carry mosquito borne diseases, such as Ross River Virus, Kunjin virus and Murray Valley Encephalitis. These diseases are endemic in the Pilbara region, and because of this the Town’s Environmental Health Serivces undertakes larvaciding and adulticiding programs to reduce the incidence of mosquito borne disease and the mosquito population.
It is important to remember that mosquitoes are a natural member of the salt march ecosystem and an important link in the environmental food chain. They are also endemic to the Pilbara especially in the wet season. Tidal inundation and the ponding of water pose the greatest challenge to mosquito management. As the range of tidal movement is vast in the North West physical prevention measures are sometimes not possible. Chemical preventative measures assist greatly in reducing mosquito populations, however a whole of community approach is needed.
If you are experiencing high volumes of mosquitoes, or would like to report areas of breeding, please call the Town’s Environmental Health team on 08 9158 9367. Residents can greatly assist in local minimization efforts by undertaking the following tasks:
- Empty any unwanted water from containers
- Keep ornamental ponds stocked with mosquito-eating fish e.g. goldfish
- Keep swimming pools well chlorinated and filtered, as well as free from leaves
- Fill or drain depressions in the ground that hold water
- Screen rainwater tanks with insect proof mesh
- Ensure guttering does not hold water
- Empty pot plant drip trays once a week or fill with sand
Follow these simple tips to help you and your family avoid mosquito bites:
- avoid outdoor exposure to mosquitoes from dusk and the first few hours after dark
- wear protective (long, loose-fitting) clothing when outdoors
- use a personal repellent containing diethyl toluamide (DEET) or picaridin. The most effective and long-lasting formulations are lotions or gels. Most natural or organic repellents are not as effective as DEET or picaridin. Refer to the Guide to personal protection strategies against Australian mosquitoes (PDF 1MB)
- install insect screens on doors and windows of homes, and on enclosed outdoor recreation areas
- use mosquito nets and mosquito-proof tents if camping/living outdoors and
- ensure infants and children are adequately protected, preferably with suitable clothing, bed nets or other forms of insect screening
For further information please call the Town’s Environmental Health Services on (08) 9158 9367.