With a wetter than usual summer predicted, Queensland workplaces should act now to help stop mosquitoes breeding and spreading mosquito-borne disease such as Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus and Dengue fever.
Mosquitoes lay eggs in containers that hold water around buildings and work yards, so many workplaces can be perfect breeding grounds for mozzies, putting staff at risk of bites and the diseases they can carry.
As well as clearing up around the workplace and eliminating breeding containers or filling holes where water could stagnate, employers can also provide insect repellent, containing DEET or Picaridin, for staff use as an extra level of protection. Installing insect screens on doors and windows, using a plug-in insecticide vaporiser (indoors), or mosquito coils (outdoors), and wearing long loose-fitting clothing, can also help prevent mozzie bites.
Mosquitoes only need a small amount of water to lay their eggs. This is why it is very important workplaces and worksites are checked at least once a week for any items that can hold water.
Just remember these three steps: Tip it, store it, throw it.
- Tip out any water in things like plastic containers, tarpaulins or buckets.
- Store anything that can hold water undercover or in a dry place, including work equipment, surplus materials or trailers, and keep bins covered.
- Throw out any rubbish lying around like unused or empty containers, tyres, additional materials, and keep worksites tidy.
Drain sumps, inlet pits and storm water pits are obvious potential breeding sites that can produce extremely high numbers of mosquitoes when water pools in the bottom. This can be solved by filling in the lower part of the pit with concrete or sand; putting a fine mesh over the grate to reduce the amount of litter that can enter; and keeping pits clear of debris that stops water flow. It’s best to have pest controllers treat drain sumps during routine pest treatment.
Read more about preparing for mozzie season.