Reducing mosquitoes in your backyard
If you live close to wetland areas, there will be some mosquitoes active during the warmer months and many mosquitoes travel from wetlands into residential areas. There are some things that can be done in the backyard to reduce bites from these mosquitoes:
- Follow the personal protection advice provided in the
Living With Mosquitoes information sheet including avoiding outdoor areas at dusk and dawn, wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants and wearing a DEET or Picaridin based repellent.
- The use of residual surface spray insecticides may offer some protection but care should be taken that the instructions for use are followed. Some products will kill harmless insects.
- There are a range of mosquito traps available. While some units will catch mosquitoes (the best traps use carbon dioxide as their main attractant) they may not provide complete protection from biting mosquitoes close to wetlands. Traps that use light to attract mosquitoes will catch and kill many harmless insects such as moths and small non-biting flies.
To help control mosquitoes around your home you need to eliminate possible backyard breeding sites. The following checklist will be helping reduce mosquitoes around your home and within your local community:
- Check your property regularly for any water holding containers or areas of pooling water.
- Dispose of all objects including cans, bottles, tins, tyres, and other receptacles which may hold water after rain.
- Keep swimming pools chlorinated or salted, or empty them completely when not in use for long periods. Empty or upturn children’s pools, sandpits or other play equipment that may hold water.
- Empty all pot plant saucers of excess water or fill with sand to prevent mosquito production.
- Frog and ornamental ponds can be stocked with native fish that will feed on the mosquito eggs and larvae. Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) should not be used.
- Boats and trailers should be overturned or covered to prevent the accumulation of rainwater water and tarpaulins covering these objects should be emptied after rain.
- Install roof guttering guards or ensure leaves and debris are cleaned from guttering to prevent blockages.
- Screen all openings to tanks or wells or other large water containers with wire gauze not coarser than 1mm aperture mesh.
- Flush out bird baths, small water features and bromeliads with a hose on a weekly basis.