Council will start fogging areas to combat insect invasion
A PLAGUE of mosquitoes and ants seems to have descended on Gladstone as wet weather and humid conditions create the perfect breeding grounds.
Frantically trying to deal with calls for help, Gladstone Amalgamated Pest Control manager David Gwilliam said February was not traditionally a busy month, but insects were taking advantage of the rain that had broken a long, dry summer.
"The wet weather seems to have sent them berserk,'' he said.
"I would suspect that because it was dry for as long as it was, they are now effectively catching up breeding-wise."
In his eight years in Gladstone, the pest controller said he had never seen it this bad before.
"You can buy commercial mozzie coils and insect spray, but if they are particularly savage, which they are at the moment, that is when these won't work."
CQ Public Health Unit director of environmental health Paul Florian said rain and king tides had created the perfect conditions for mosquitoes that breed in brackish or salt water.
"Even when the rain stops and the tides go back out, water left behind less than a metre wide is able to breed hundreds of thousands of mosquito larvae," he said.
Living away from these hot spots is not a guarantee either, with some species being able to fly up to 5km and others being blown 50km by the breeze.
In these circumstances, Mr Florian said the best way to protect yourself was to wear light coloured, long-sleeved clothing and avoid going out at dawn and dusk.
Mr Florian said Ross River Fever and Barmah Forest Virus were the most common mosquito-born diseases in central Queensland, and both had no cure.
GLADSTONE Regional Council will begin fogging areas vulnerable to mosquitoes on Monday to combat the increase in activity around the region.
Fogging will take place during early hours of the morning, with daycare centres, kindergartens and primary schools identified as key targets.
Mayor Gail Sellers said they were continuing the management program, treating known breeding sites and placing traps to monitor and gather information on species and numbers.
Tips for keeping mosquitoes at bay
- Check the yard and house for places where water could collect
- Clean roof gutters regularly
- Screen rainwater tanks
- Clean birdbaths and fishponds weekly
- Check old tyres, plant pot bases and backyard toys for water
- Wear long-sleeved clothing when outside and keep repellent handy
Did you know?
- A single female can lay up to 200 eggs at a time
- Only the female mosquito feasts on blood to provide protein for egg development
- Mosquitoes can transmit dog heartworm as well as Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus and dengue fever
- Facts from Gladstone Regional Council
WE asked readers on Facebook whether they were seeing an insect invasion. Here are some of the tips they suggested to deal with ants and other bugs.
Koula Islay: Combination of Mortein's Ant Sand and that good ol' home recipe borax/cotton ball trap.
Rachel Steele: Cloves for inside! Ants do not like them, scatter them about anywhere (and they don't smell too bad either!) I've heard minced garlic works for ants & mossies too but I'm yet to try it.
Leah Jett Chynweth-Tidy: A mixture of borax, sugar and water…shake up and wet some paper towel in a shallow container…keep wetting as it dries out.
The ants will be attracted to the sugar and take the borax mixture back to their nest …which kills the ants at the source.
Dana McLeod Schneider: Talcum powder in door ways and on window sills and they don't come back in. Just need to vacuum the ones inside as they won't cross it to get out either.
Amy-Lee Brown: Yes!! Ants and Mosquitos!!! I was told bicarbonate powder where they're getting in but have yet to try it.