Record rain across Queensland – beware mosquito diseases!
With the wet season now well underway across the state, workplaces all over Queensland have been urged to look out for places that encourage mosquitoes to breed to prevent the spread of Ross River Fever, Barmah Forest and Dengue.
Mosquitoes only need a small amount of water to lay their eggs. It is important to regularly check for breeding sites at workplaces. 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.
Outdoor workers can be at risk of disease-causing bites from mozzies. Eliminating breeding containers and places where water can collect and stagnate will help reduce mosquito numbers. Employers can also provide insect repellent for workers, containing DEET or Picaridin, as an extra level of protection against biting insects.
For protection indoors, installing insect screens on doors and windows, using a plug-in insecticide vaporiser (indoors), and wearing long loose-fitting clothing, can also help prevent mozzie bites.
Just remember the 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 simply 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.