Mosquitoes

Over 300 species of mosquitoes have been identified in Australia but only a small number are of major concern.

Damage

Mosquitoes have been implicated in vectoring many diseases to humans including dengue fever, Australian encephalitis, Ross River virus disease and Barmah Forerst virus disease; malaria has been transmitted locally in Australia only rarely in recent decades. Aside from the serious heath risks, mosquitoes’ presence is annoying to humans who spend time outdoors, their bites produce itchy welts and the enjoyment of many outdoor areas is curtailed.

Management

Control measures include environmental manipulation to reduce aquatic habitats such as removing dense patches of decaying vegetation conducive to mosquito production, applying mosquito-specific control agents. Many materials currently in use are biological in origin and are highly specific for mosquitoes while having little or no effect on other organisms. Controlling irrigation water in agricultural areas to avoid excess runoff also is an important mosquito control method.