Surf Coast Shire Council is continuing its proactive mosquito monitoring and treatment program while urging people to guard against bites.
Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Annaliese van Diemen on 24 December issued an updated health warning on mosquitoes and Ross River virus for residents and visitors in the Surf Coast, Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula and north-west areas of Victoria, to protect themselves against mosquitoes.
Council’s treatment program targets known breeding areas including areas of Torquay North and Breamlea, and the Anglesea River.
“Council has been working on an enhanced monitoring and treatment program in partnership with the City of Greater Geelong and DHHS, and our treatments can be effective in intercepting mosquitoes at the larval stage,” General Manager Environment and Planning Ransce Salan said.
“But we need to amplify the message that the best protection against diseases like Ross River virus is to avoid being bitten.
“Simple measures can help Beat the Bite.”
People can protect themselves and families from bites by:
Wearing clothing that is light coloured and loose fitting;
Covering arms, legs and feet;
Regularly using an effective insect repellent containing picaridin or DEET on all exposed skin; and
Trying to avoid outdoor activity when mosquito numbers are high, particularly at dusk and dawn.
People can also prevent mosquitoes from breeding around homes by:
Regularly removing water in blocked gutters, bird baths, stagnant ponds, old tyres, pot plant bases, buckets and toys;
Ensuring openings to rainwater tanks are covered with mesh; and
Ensuring swimming pools and fish ponds are well maintained.
Council’s treatment program uses larvicides Bacillus thuringiensis isralensis (Bti) and s-Methoprene which are approved by the Australia Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for mosquito management.
The products only affect mosquito larvae. People, animals and the general environment are not adversely affected.
Treatments on the Anglesea River are in pellet form and applied to the water from boat or banks.
People can learn more about bite prevention via Beat the Bite www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/campaigns/beat-the-bite