Mozzies move in on city
By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
AFTER last year's infestation of mosquitoes in the harbour city, Gladstone City Council has this year stepped up the fight.
With recent rain and the onset of warmer weather the mozzie season is expected to kick off soon.
Last year's mosquito infestation also resulted in warnings from health professionals about the possibility of illnesses such as Ross River fever.
In the past the council's methods for dealing with the mosquito plagues came under scrutiny from the public, with some questioning the decision not to use fogging.
Instead the council treated mosquitoes at the breeding sites with larvicide.
This year the council has stuck with its treatment of the mosquito larvae at known breeding sites, but has increased the number of sites.
Council environmental health officer Tom Border said the council had conducted an aerial survey of breeding sites last year following the influx of mozzies. "An aerial survey about five to six months ago identified areas that we hadn't treated before so we have started treating them,'' Mr Border said.
Mr Border said despite the council getting a new fogger, it had maintained the treatment of the mosquito larvae as the preferred treatment.
Mr Border said larvicide treatment controlled the mosquito at the breeding site rather than killing the individual mosquito.
Last year the council also said there had been question marks in relation to the health effects of the fogging.
Mr Border said when there was an extreme influx of mosquitoes, council would fog around schools, preschools and other child care areas.
The council had also been conducting surveys of known breeding areas to determine the quantity of mosquitoes.
Mosquito control officer Glenys Hubbert said light traps had been used to capture and count mosquitoes.
She said they had also been laying larvicide sands and briquettes to stop the hatching of new mosquitoes following recent rain.