The drier weather and the heat have reduced the mosquito population this summer but Greater Shepparton City Council is reminding residents to still protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases.
Manager Environment Greg McKenzie said with a potential increase in rainfall over the next few months we were likely to experience an increase in mosquito numbers.
“The mosquito season has been quiet so far but mosquitoes are still looking for a blood meal. Any mosquito bite can pass on arboviruses such as Ross River virus (RRv) or Murray Valley Encephalitis virus (MVEv), although we are unlikely to see MVEv cases in a season like this,” he said.
“Residents should still be vigilant of any still water areas where mosquitoes breed. Maintain swimming pools, stock ponds with fish and drain pet water bowls and children’s wading pools weekly.”
“Also check self-watering pots, tyres, buckets and other material which may hold water and either screen, drain or removing altogether,” said Mr McKenzie.
There are a number of ways residents can protect themselves from the insects such as covering up and wearing long loose fitting clothing.
“Where possible avoid using aftershaves and perfumes as these attract mosquitoes; light colours are also recommended as mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours,” Mr McKenzie said.
Using mosquito repellents containing picaridin or DEET on exposed skin is one of the most effective measures to discourage the insects. Don’t forget to follow instructions of use especially for children.
“At home or on holidays make sure your accommodation is properly fitted with mosquito netting or screens.”
Finally try and limit outdoor activity where mosquitoes have a high presence. They are most commonly out during dusk and dawn hours of the day.