- The Fantastic Team
- 5min read
- Published: March 17, 2021
- Views: 112
Mosquito Plague in Australia – Dangers & Protective Measures
Mosquitoes are, without a doubt, among the most dangerous insects on the planet. Their sheer numbers and the fact they can transmit many diseases makes them a serious threat to us.
Mozzies are responsible for more estimated deaths than any other animal in the world because of the rate they spread diseases. And each year, there is a period of time when given the right conditions, mosquitoes can become a real plague in Australia.
Table of Contents:
When is mosquito season in Australia?
Normally, summer is considered the active mosquito season. However, throughout spring and autumn, the flying insects start to breed. It still depends on the area you live in, as in the northern parts of Australia, it is possible for mosquitoes to remain active throughout the whole year.
There is also the chance of mozzie populations appearing earlier than the normal season if hatchlings are in diapause, for instance.
Nevertheless, the severity of a mosquito invasion can be determined by a few conditions, such as heavy rainfalls or floods during the spring, followed by high temperatures. This creates the perfect environment for a full-fledged disaster, especially in coastal areas, where highly-populated cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Perth are located.
What are the dangers of a mosquito plague?
As we’ve already mentioned, these flying, blood-sucking insects can potentially carry different diseases. They include the Ross River virus or the Barmah Forest virus, among other more serious ones. Recently, there’s been even reported cases of Buruli ulcer. The latter is a flesh-eating infectious disease that is possibly transmitted by a mosquito bite or possum feces.
This makes the threat of mosquito-borne diseases very serious. Therefore, councils start taking action when the mozzie season approaches, especially if there is a chance of a plague developing somewhere in Australia. And while councils are doing everything in their power to prevent massive mosquito infestations, it is good to know the enemy and take protective measures yourself, too.
What are mozzies breeding habits?
The way mosquitoes lay their eggs can vary from species to species. However, the formula followed by the most widespread genera is pretty straightforward.
- Mozzies love warm, damp weather which creates the perfect environment for them to hatch and develop quickly.
- Most species lay their eggs on stale water, which can be found in ponds, birdbaths or even pools.
- How long the eggs take to hatch depends highly on the temperatures and water conditions. After they hatch, they go through the larva and then pupa stages relatively quickly. This means we get lots of mosquitoes ready to multiply within a couple of weeks.
- Once they’ve matured enough, females can lay hundreds of eggs every few days. The good news is that males only have a few days lifespan. The bad news is that once a mosquito plague breaks, there is a small chance of a decline in numbers until their season passes.
How to keep the mosquitoes away
Councils do their best to get ahead of the situation, doing all kinds of spraying for larvae and adult mosquitoes, alike. However, most pesticides do not necessarily act on the eggs, which means that even if a small percentage of them survive, they can easily repopulate an area.
It’s not all bad, though. There are some things you can do to at least reduce the number of mosquitoes in your area.
- First off, because they love water so much, don’t leave any stale water lying around if you can help it. This will make it a little bit more difficult to multiply in number. Given their reproduction rate, at least on a local level, you can reduce their ranks quite a lot.
- Most mosquito species are usually active during the evenings, so make sure you are protected if you plan to be outdoors during this time. If you live in areas where mosquitoes are known to be active throughout the whole day, apply a repellent and keep one with you at all times.
- Clean your gutters and drains. If you’ve skipped the spring cleaning of the drains and gutters, now’s a perfect time. If they’re not clear, water cannot run through them freely, which means stale water will quickly form. Good maintenance will help prevent mosquito infestation.
- If you think you might already have an infestation on your hands, definitely call a pest control professional. After a thorough inspection of the premises, the source of the infestation (if there is any) will be located and dealt with. Since pest controllers handle these threats more locally and in a more concentrated manner, you can be sure both the breeding ground and the grown-up population will be dealt with.
Are mosquitoes bothering you?
Contact a local pest control specialist for your peace of mind
What attracts mosquitoes and how to prevent bites?
Mosquitoes like some people more than others, which explains why oftentimes it seems they’re biting you more than your friends (because they possibly are). The increased mosquito attraction may be caused by genetics, so there’s nothing you can do about it.
The good news, though, is that genetics is just one of the possible reasons, meaning you still have some control over these reactions and you can protect yourself from mosquitoes. There are some pretty powerful repellents, but they won’t work too well if you’re basically asking to get bitten. If you know what else attracts mozzies, though, then you might stand a chance.
Mosquitoes are attracted to CO2
This is the gas we exhale when we breathe. Of course, there are many sources of CO2 in nature. Still, the particular blend of gases and substances in our breath makes it recognisable (and the more we breathe out, the more likely targets we become). This makes us particularly vulnerable when exercising.
Outdoor sports aren’t a good idea for another reason, as well. Mosquitoes are quite attracted to body odour. They’ve evolved in such a way that they can sniff the bacteria that hides in sweat (and the reason for distinct smell), so sports make it a lot more likely for mosquitoes to be attracted to us.
Higher risk of mosquito attacks for smokers
When you smoke, you inhale CO, a poisonous gas that binds to haemoglobin in your blood. Haemoglobin is what spreads oxygen throughout your body from your lungs, but since oxygen gets replaced with CO, your cells aren’t getting enough oxygen. The result? You start to breathe more heavily and exhale a lot more CO2. Every cigarette makes you more and more delicious.
Showering daily and using a deodorant is good advice to keep mozzies away, but don’t overdo it. Strong-scented shower gels and perfumes are also quite attractive to mosquitoes. It is good to keep this in mind when you select body products. Also, remember that lactic acid is also attractive for mosquitoes (and is naturally secreted through our skin). There are a number of skin-care products that may contain it.
Mozzies prefer dark colours
This is either good or bad news, depending on your fashion sense. It appears that when it comes to clothing, mosquitoes are more attracted to dark clothes. Dress in lighter colours and wear more loose clothing for better protection.
Do everything in your power to protect yourself and do not underestimate the dangers of mosquito season. A mozzie plague may come and go but the most important thing is to stay safe!
- The mosquito season in Australia is in the summer. Though, the breeding goes on through spring and autumn.
- High humidity resulting from heavy rains, combined with hot weather, makes the ideal conditions for a mosquito plague.
- The biggest danger of mosquito bites is the transmission of diseases, which can be prevented with pesticides and insect repellents that you need to apply to yourself.
- Mosquitoes breed best in a damp and warm environment with stale water present, so to prevent an infestation, make sure you keep an eye on pools, ponds in the backyard, house gutters, etc.
The mosquito plague shouldn’t worry you!
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- Last update: May 21, 2021
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