Weipa has a tropical climate with mangroves and an annual wet season, all of which contribute to ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes.
More than 220 mosquito species can be found in Queensland, and many of these are carriers of diseases such as; Malaria, Ross River Fever, Zika Virus and Dengue Fever. Fortunately, it is believed that none of these diseases are carried by the types of mosquitoes found in the Weipa area. However, they can be easily introduced by infected visitors to Far North Queensland from countries where the diseases occur.
Mosquitoes require water to breed. Females lay eggs on the water surface or on water's edge. The eggs hatch into larvae (wrigglers) and become pupae (tumblers). Both the wrigglers and tumblers live under the water before emerging as an adult, flying mosquito.
The WTA is encouraging all residents to self-manage the exposure to mosquitoes by removing potential breeding zones at their homes and minimising the potential exposure to mosquitoes. The following outlines what you can do to help:
- Report any stagnant water bodies that provide breeding sites to the WTA as soon as possible
- Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn
- Cover up exposed skin by wearing light coloured long sleeved clothing and ensuring that all exposed skin is covered with a good quality repellent
- Clear properties of items that hold water or has the potential to hold water by –
- dispose of all tins, tyres, tarpaulins, black plastic and other rubbish containers that may hold water
- put sand around bases of pot plants to absorb excess water in the dish
overturn boats and dinghies or remove the drain plug so they do not hold water
- drill holes in tyres used for swings, playgrounds and garden surrounds to allow water to drain
- prevent leaking taps which can maintain semi-permanent pools
- remove weeds and grass from drains to enable them to drain freely
- keep roof guttering in good repair and regularly remove leaves and debris so that pools of water do not form
- keep lawns and gardens well maintained so that you are not providing shelter for adult mosquitoes
- remove fallen palm fronds and other garden materials which have the potential to pond water
- install or repair fly screens on all windows and rain water tanks and place self-closing wire screens on doors
- empty flower vases, pot plants, bird baths, pets drinking water and other receptacles that hold water at least once a week
- keep fish ponds stocked with fish