Brisbane City Council has launched a blitz on mosquitoes in the wake of heavy rain, sticky heat and high tides
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said helicopters, ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) and 4WDs are being despatched across Brisbane to target mosquito breeding hotspots as larvae numbers explode due to combination of classic stifling humidity, light winds and summer storms combined with high tides
“Saltmarsh mosquitoes are more than an annoying inconvenience; they can carry serious diseases including Ross River Fever, which can be debilitating,” Cr Schrinner said
“We have noticed a spike in the heat and humidity and finally some heavy rain to offset the extended dry spell from last year, which along with higher than normal tides, creates the perfect storm for a mosquito outbreak
“Aerial spraying across areas such as wetlands gets to the larvae before they can hatch, and the ATV is good to get into tricky areas that the helicopters may not be able to reach or 4WDs can’t drive into.
The latest aerial spraying starts this morning and will cover Tinchi Tamba Wetlands, areas around Bald Hills, Brighton, Boondall, the Airport, Pinkenba, Fisherman, Mud, St. Helena and Whyte Islands, Hemmant and along Bulimba Creek
Cr Schrinner said the treatment will target the mosquito larvae in their breeding pools, not the adult mosquitoes
“The chemical being used is methoprene, a non-hazardous insect growth regulator specific to mosquito larvae,” he said
“We remain the only council in Australia to have two expert entomologists on staff to lead the research and monitoring of airborne pests, including mosquitoes and midges in the Brisbane City Council area
“Having this expert advice allows us to meticulously plan our spraying program and be nimble enough to change it at short notice if there are unexpected weather events
“There are more than the 275 different mosquito species in Australia and not all of them need large bodies of water to breed. Unlike the saltmarsh species, the common ‘backyard’ mosquito only needs a little bit of water to breed, so make sure you empty any container or pot plant holders every week so they have nowhere to breed.
Cr Schrinner said Council introduced the new eight-wheel all terrain ATV for mosquito ground spraying in September, in addition to the helicopter and 4WD spraying
“Every year, Council sprays about 20,000 hectares of salt marshes and mangroves by helicopter, where heavy rainfall and high tides lead to mosquito breeding,” he said
“Council has invested more than $5.2 million to manage 2500 known mosquito breeding hotspots across the city this financial year.
“The first aerial treatment of the season took place in August and today’s will be the eleventh of the season.
“We will continue treating all mosquito hatch events that occur this season at the advice of our entomologists.”
Regular sprays are scheduled for Tinchi Tamba Wetlands, areas around Bald Hills, Brighton, Boondall, Brisbane Airport, Tingalpa, Pinkenba, Fisherman and Whyte Islands, Hemmant and along Bulimba Creek, as well as Mud, St Helena and Green Islands.
Residents can help prevent the spread of mosquitos by:
- Emptying water from pot plants every week or filling in the base with sand
- Filling self-watering pot cavities with sand or covering the watering holes
- Removing or covering all other items and containers that hold water
- Draining and covering boats and canoes
- Effectively screening water tanks
- Keeping swimming pools chlorinated
- Trimming trees and cleaning leaves from roof gutters to prevent pooling and reduce blocked screens.
For more information, visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au or call Council on (07) 3403 8888