The recent heavy rains, flooding and warm weather have made the perfect conditions for making babies and mosquitoes are breeding like there’s no tomorrow.
‘Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses are transmitted by infected mosquitoes that breed in flooded, grassy and swampy areas and around waterways,’ said Greg Bell, assistant director north public health unit.
‘Recent rainfall and warm weather mean mosquito numbers are increasing. As our coastal areas are expected to see higher number of mosquitoes, it’s a timely reminder for people to take simple steps to avoid being bitten.’
Steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes include:
- When outside cover up as much as possible with light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing and covered footwear.
- Use an effective repellent on all exposed skin. Re-apply repellent within a few hours, as protection wears off with perspiration. The best mosquito repellents contain Diethyl Toluamide (DEET) or Picaridin. Those containing oil of lemon eucalyptus also provide adequate protection.
- Using mosquito coils outdoors and vaporising mats indoors to repel mosquitoes from an area. Devices that use light to attract and electrocute insects are not effective.
- Cover all windows, doors, vents and other entrances with insect screens.
- When camping, use flyscreens on caravans and tents or sleep under mosquito nets.
‘To reduce areas for mosquitoes to breed around your home, clean up your yard and remove all water-holding rubbish, regularly flush out pot plant bases, keep house guttering clear, and make sure openings of septic tanks and water tanks are covered and screened securely,’ Mr Bell said.
More information about mosquito-borne infections is available on the NSW Health website.