Time to start mosquito-proofing around your home

IT'S almost the summer storm season and time for residents to check their yards are free from potential mosquito breeding areas.

Each year, summer rainfall ripens conditions for mosquito breeding, so Gladstone Regional Council is urging residents to help reduce their numbers by limiting the potential breeding sites around their homes.

Gladstone Region Mayor Gail Sellers said the council was about to embark on its annual inspection and mosquito education program in an effort to reduce their numbers and the chances of people contracting debilitating mosquito-borne diseases.

She advised residents they could play a major part in ensuring mosquitoes had limited places to breed.

"It is essential we take steps now as numbers can be limited if we all work together to reduce the chances of them breeding in water sources around our yards," Cr Sellers said.

"The mosquitoes that spread diseases such as dengue fever and Ross River Virus in particular, prefer to breed in water sources around homes, resting in dark objects."

The mayor said there were a number of preventative measures residents could take to reduce the opportunities for mosquitoes to breed, including:

• Inspecting your house and backyard and, where possible, remove all accumulations of water that can breed mosquitoes;

• Emptying pot plant bases and cleaning them weekly, or filling the base with sand to absorb the water;

• Washing out bromeliads and other water holding plants weekly;

• Store tins, tyres, jars, toys and rubbish that holds water under cover and disposed of unwanted items;

• Clean out roof gutters regularly, particularly where trees can block gutters and hold water;

• Trim trees and branches away from gutters;

• Screen rainwater tanks with approved wire gauze;

• Maintain swimming pools and pumps/chlorinators;

• Clean birdbaths, fishponds and ornamental ponds weekly and, where possible, stock with native Australian fish; and,

• Ensure wastewater treatment systems are suitably sealed and wastewater is not allowed to accumulate or pond.

A printable checklist for mosquito control around the home is available online via the council's website at www.gladstone.qld.gov.au and is accessible on the 'Mosquitoes' page under the 'Environment and Conservation - Pests and Weeds' drop down tab.

For more information phone Gladstone council on 4970 0700.

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