Council to target breeding spots

SWARMS of mosquitoes plaguing the Bundaberg region are a nuisance but not a health risk, according to Bundaberg Regional Council.

Council health and regulatory services manager John Duffield said the scotch greys and grey-striped mosquitoes draining the blood from anyone who ventured outside in certain areas did not carry diseases that could affect humans.

Mr Duffield rejected accusations by resident Rob Hennessey, a former vector control officer for a council in a different region, who believed the council was not giving residents the full story.

Mr Hennessey said dengue fever and Ross River fever were “creeping down the coast”.

“They're just outside Rockhampton now,” he said.

But Mr Duffield said the scotch grey was not known to carry any diseases and stayed in a larval form for some time, during which it fed on other mosquito larvae.

Mr Duffield said the mosquitoes laid their eggs in shallow depressions in the ground, and the eggs could survive for up to two years.

“Yes, it is a nuisance, and it's causing quite a bit of discomfort, but on the disease front there isn't the potential,' he said.

Mr Duffield said the insects were only active during the day and could only operate in shady areas.

He said controlling the mosquito population meant targeting the larvae.

Because Bundaberg was fairly windy, it was difficult to control where fogging or spraying would be effective. Such methods also killed bees and beneficial insects.

He said the council instead introduced insect growth regulators into known breeding spots, which kept the larvae in their junior stage for much longer than they wanted to be and eventually produced males, which did not bite people.

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