Mosquito Management

Mosquitoes are an essential component of the natural ecosystem, however their ability to transmit disease to humans through bites of infected mosquitoes creates a significant public health risk to communities. The female mosquito actively seeks repeated blood meals in order to mature successive egg batches throughout her life.

In the Pilbara, mosquito-borne diseases of concern include Ross River Virus (RRV), Barmah Forest Virus (BFV), Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE) and Kunjin virus. In the absence of a vaccine and cure for these diseases, it is important for humans to take necessary measures to prevent or reduce the risk of a mosquito bite.

The presence of mosquitoes is significantly determined by a number of environmental factors, particularly ambient temperature, vegetation and rainfall. Port Hedland is susceptible to flooding, tidal inundation and fringing marshland. There are also residential developments surrounded by tidal areas and marshland. The Town’s Environmental Health department uses a combination of physical and chemical strategies to remove potential breeding sites and to kill mosquito larvae and adults, where possible. While it is not achievable to completely eradicate an entire mosquito population, any measures that can be taken to prevent mosquito breeding and prevent the emergence of adult mosquitoes are effective to reduce the risk of a mosquito bite.

The Town’s Mosquito Management Plan (MMP) describes the key measures that are used to monitor and control mosquito numbers in Port Hedland. Monitoring measures include larval sampling, adult trapping, identifying and treating or removing breeding sites and participating in the Sentinel Chicken Program.

Members of the community can adopt personal protection measures against the mosquito bite, including the following:

  • Eliminating potential sources of mosquito breeding on private property through regular maintenance of water sources including swimming pools, pet water bowls, gutters, pots, etc.
  • Reporting any suspected breeding sites to the Town
  • Avoiding outdoor exposure at peak periods of mosquito activity (dusk and dawn)
  • Routinely applying mosquito repellent containing the active ingredient diethyl-tolumide (DEET) or picaridin
  • Wearing protective long and loose fitting clothing when outdoors

Useful links:

Town of Port Hedland Mosquito Management Plan

WA Health Mosquito Borne Diseases Information

For further information please contact the Town’s Environmental Health department on 9158 9300.