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Environment

Discover how we are protecting the Gold Coast's natural environment - our spectacular beaches, hinterland ranges, bushland and waterways - and how you can help.

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Mosquitoes

City of Gold Coast manages an ongoing program to control mosquitoes populations on the Gold Coast.

For a schedule of mosquito spraying throughout the city, go to news.cityofgoldcoast.com.au/alert-section.

The problem

The majority of mosquito problems are caused by saltmarsh mosquitoes, with additional breeding occurring in freshwater after periods of high rainfall. When high tides exceed about 1.6 metres at the Gold Coast Seaway, tidal marshes are flooded, triggering mosquito breeding. This occurs almost on a monthly basis. High rainfall events can also cause flooding of saltmarshes. Mosquito control is important as some species carry debilitating diseases such as Ross River Virus.

How can you help?

City of Gold Coast suggests the following actions to lessen the harmful effects of mosquitoes:

  • Eliminate breeding by disposing of all tins, jars, tyres, discarded ice-cream containers and other water holding receptacles.
  • Empty all flower vases, pot plants and other containers, which hold water at least once a week.
  • Ensure gutters are kept free of leaves and that they drain freely, leaving no pools of water in low points.
  • Screen all openings to tanks, wells or other large water containers with wire gauze not coarser than one (1) millimetre aperture mesh.
  • Apply kerosene to unscreened water tanks or other collections of water which cannot otherwise be effectively treated; the amount to add depends on the size of the container, but should be a cupful for normal sized tanks.
  • Ensure that leach drains from septic tanks are completely covered and tank lids are free of cracks and the concrete bung is properly sealed; make sure that the vent pipe is covered with a mosquito-proof cowl or screen.
  • Keep fish ponds and ornamental ponds stocked with either goldfish or native freshwater fish; native fish can be supplied by contacting the City's Pest Management Unit.
  • Fill in water holding cavities in tree hollows, depressions and holes in the yard with soil.
  • Put sand around the bases of pot plants to absorb water in the dish or, with outdoor plants, discard the bases altogether.
  • Empty bird baths and pets drinking water containers at least once a week.
  • Keep swimming pools well chlorinated.
  • Keep all open drains and channels free from obstruction especially weeds and grass.
  • Inspect your house, yard, workplace, school, and immediate neighbourhood for accumulated water.

Chemically based products are available from most plant nurseries and hardware stores to assist in the control of mosquitoes. Electronic bug zappers are also effective devices that use an ultra-violet light to attract mossies then kill them with an electric charge.

Screening window and doors will greatly reduce mosquitoes in your house. Insect repellents are effective against mosquitoes but finding the right one is the key. Try mosquito coils, repellent candles or citronella, available at any supermarket or hardware store.

What is the City doing?

City officers use all terrain vehicles to access remote areas to determine if mosquito larvae have hatched. When significant numbers of mosquito larvae are found over an extensive area, helicopters are used to control the larval populations.

Habitat modification, in the form of runnelling (shallow spoon shaped drains), is used in some saltmarsh areas to reduce mosquito breeding. This allows better tidal flushing and fish predators better access to the marsh.

Freshwater breeding after rain can cause problems on a localised basis. Water holding areas such as drains and freshwater wetlands are checked weekly by City officers and treated with larvicide if breeding is present.

Small native fish are stocked in permanent water bodies to control mosquito breeding by more natural means.

Mosquito control strategies must consider impacts on the environment as saltmarsh habitats support a broad diversity of wildlife. In recent years, environmentally sustainable treatments have been conducted on larvicides including bacteria and growth regulators specific to mosquitoes.

Contact us

For advice on the management of mosquitoes or if you wish to let us know about an existing mosquito problem, contact us on 1300 GOLD COAST or 07 5582 8211, or use our online Report a problem - Public health and safety form.

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