Stating the obvious, we had a really wet end to March this year. In fact South East QLD received the most rainfall for the month of March in 15 years which was residual from Cyclone Debbie which made her way south down the coast during the last week of March.
Did you also know that March 2017 was one of the warmest on record too? The mean temperature in South East QLD was around 2 degrees above the average and one of the warmest recorded in the past 100 years.
It doesn’t take a scientist or a medical entomologist for that matter to tell you that these conditions were a recipe for a mass mosquito emergence.
Along our coastlines, especially in SE QLD, local Councils (who by the way do an outstanding job) generally monitor closely what is going on with regard to mosquito larvae activity on government and crown land in tidal effected breeding sites which are known to inundate with water and breed mosquitoes at certain level tides. They also monitor ‘fresh water sites’. These fresh water sites are like the tidal sites, they too are known to breed mozzies, however only after a certain amount of rain is received. The rain fall level is generally used as a trigger point of when to investigate and treat these areas of pooled water.
So, what happens when the temperature is above average and we receive huge amounts of rain at once over a wide spread area as we did through the end of March?
Answer: Both tidal and fresh water known mosquito breeding sites become inundated. Along with huge amounts of privately owned land. This creates a mammoth task for the local councils to try to treat as many breeding sites as they possibly can in a short amount of time using aerial and ground based applications.
Why a short amount of time? The time from which mosquito larvae can be positively identified in water to when it hatches out as an adult is only a few days. It is only within this time frame that the larvae can be killed.
This is all well and good for the government owned land, which predominantly contains the majority of mosquito breeding sites anyway, however with large rain events, areas that don’t usually pool water for any length of time such as private paddocks/properties/backyards/businesses may have water lying around for days, creating many more ‘breeding sites’ for mosquitoes creating an explosion of numbers of adult mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes have been known to be found up to 50km from their original emergence site. So, dependent on the wind direction and strength you could be receiving mosquitoes from 2 or 3 suburbs away in your own backyard! But with this being said, keeping an eye out and reducing any potential breeding areas in your own outdoor area is a good idea e.g. emptying items in your yard that hold water after rain.
If you do have a mosquito problem that is fairly persistent and you think you have taken every step to make your yard less mosquito conducive, take a look at your outdoor areas where the problem occurs or close to where you are bitten. Are there thick vegetated gardens, dense foliage, lots of greenery? Dark cool damp corners? If yes, mosquitoes absolutely love these places! Mosquitoes harbour there to avoid windy conditions and direct sunlight. You will notice as soon as that sun starts to set, out they come to suck your blood, then return to their resting place to process the blood meal.
Obviously Australians love their gardens and entertaining outside so regardless of what you have been told you shouldn’t have to do away with your green oasis or run inside just because the mozzies are unbearable in your backyard.
The services we can provide range from residential residual barrier treatments that provide protection for you whilst spending time in the outdoor areas that I mentioned above, Broad Acre Larvaciding (treating mosquito larvae) and ULV (Ultra Low Volume) Adulticiding (treating of adult mosquitoes) to providing detailed mosquito management plans for large commercial properties and projects with access to Australia’s top Mosquito experts and medical entomologists
Final thought: Environmental factors out of our control usually dictate whether or not a certain area will be heavy or light with mosquito activity. These include tides, rain, wind, temperature, water temperature, ground water PH levels and so on.
I have deliberately left out one very important environmental factor. This is the ‘Mosquito Harbourage Areas’. The reason I left it out? This is something that we can really modify and also use to our advantage when considering mosquito control in domestic and commercial situations using scientifically proven products and techniques we can take back the outdoors and in Australia, No Mosquitoes® is leading the way.
General Manager – No Mosquitoes®