Mosquitoes

We have an ongoing program to control the mosquito population in our region. Mosquito control is important as some species carry debilitating diseases such as Ross River Virus.

Most mosquito breeding occurs in saltmarsh, with additional breeding taking place 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 monthly. High rainfall events can also cause flooding of saltmarshes, which happens with regular flooding by the tides. These are the areas we target.

For a schedule of mosquito spraying throughout the city, go to City alerts.

What we are doing

Our officers use all-terrain vehicles to access remote areas to determine if mosquito larvae have hatched. 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 larvae, including bacteria and growth regulators specific to mosquitoes.

Modifying their habitats, 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 Council officers and treated with larvicide, which is an insecticide specifically targeted against the larval life stage of mosquitos, if breeding is present.

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

What you can do

The following actions will reduce the harmful effects of mosquitoes:

  • Eliminate breeding by disposing of all tins, jars, tyres, discarded ice-cream containers and other water-holding containers.
  • Empty flower vases, pot plants and other containers which hold water, at least once a week.
  • Ensure house gutters are kept free of leaves and 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 1 millimetre aperture mesh.
  • Apply kerosene to unscreened water tanks or other collections of water that cannot otherwise be effectively treated – the amount to add depends on the size of the container, but roughly a cupful for normal-sized tanks.
  • Ensure that leach drains from septic tanks are completely covered, the tank lids are free of cracks, the concrete bung is properly sealed, and the vent pipe is covered with a mosquito-proof cowl or screen.
  • Keep fishponds and ornamental ponds stocked with either goldfish or native freshwater fish.
  • Fill in water-holding cavities in tree hollows, depressions, and holes in the yard with soil.
  • Put sand around the base of pot plants to absorb water in the dish or, with outdoor plants, discard bases altogether.
  • Empty birdbaths 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.

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

Screening windows 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, which are available at any supermarket or hardware store.

More information

To learn more, download the following fact sheets:

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 07 5667 5988. Alternatively, click on the following button and scroll down to Mosquitoes to complete our online form.

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