After the recent flooding the Department of Health issued a warning to take precautions against mosquitoes.The Shire received an additional amount of larvicide which Shire Environmental Health Officers have used to treat areas on top of their scheduled treated water bodies. The areas included some storm sumps located in residential areas that were left with a larger amount of water than usual.
The larvicide used will provide some assistance in preventing the emergence of larvae into adult mosquitoes while not impacting negatively on other beneficial insects and the environment.
Health Services also made a visit to the SEPWA post-harvest meeting last Friday to provide farmers with an information pack. The farming community is more likely to be affected due to the ideal conditions for breeding of mosquitoes and subsequently could be at a higher risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as Ross River virus (RRV) and Barmah Forest virus (BFV).
While the Shire of Esperance mosquito management program is in place, it is not possible to keep mosquitoes below nuisance levels when such vast areas are affected due to recent rains. Individuals should take precautions to avoid being bitten by covering up with long loose fitting, light coloured clothing, avoiding outdoor exposure particularly around dusk and dawn and applying repellent containing 20% of DEET or picardin to exposed skin or clothing.
It is also a timely reminder for residents to minimise mosquito breeding around the home by taking some simple steps to remove or modify breeding sites. This includes emptying out or discarding containers that may hold water, regularly emptying, cleaning and refilling of bird baths, stock troughs and pet water bowls, keeping swimming pools properly maintained and free of debris and covering rainwater inlets and outlets, vent pipes of septic tanks, wells or other large water containers with insect proof mesh.
More information can be found on the Healthy WA website.