Mosquitoes are abundant in the Australian environment during the warmer seasons. They are small blood feeding insects which belong to a group of more than 3,500 species globally, 30 of which are found in Sydney. Mosquitoes breed in bodies of water and female mosquitoes bite in order to obtain nutrients to breed. Not only are mosquito bites a nuisance but they can also transmit vector-borne diseases such as Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus.
As part of our public health initiative to identify mosquitoes that cause a nuisance in the City of Canada Bay and the risk of vector borne diseases, Council joined the NSW Arbovirus Surveillance and Mosquito Monitoring Program. This has provided vital information that while there are mosquitoes that breed in the natural mangrove habitat, the main mosquito pest is the mosquitoes found in our own backyards, Aedes Notoscriptus (common backyard mosquito).
As a community and individually, we can reduce backyard mosquitoes breeding around our homes by emptying any water-holding containers and protect ourselves through wearing of protective clothing and appropriate repellent.
The City of Canada Bay along with other Councils in the Sydney Metropolitan Area participated in the NSW Arbovirus Surveillance and Mosquito Monitoring program from December 2020 to April 2021. Mosquito traps were set up weekly overnight in problem mosquito areas such as Powell's Creek and Yarralla Estate and sent to Westmead Entomology lab for testing.
The participation in the program did not detect any Ross River virus and Barmah virus from the samples of mosquitoes caught by the City of Canada Bay. This was consistent with other areas of Sydney Metropolitan and virus detection overall in Sydney was low.
While unique salt marsh mosquito species were captured from the mosquito traps, the most abundant mosquito identified in the traps was the Aedes Notoscriptus, which are more commonly known as the backyard mosquito. This mosquito is a common nuisance biting mosquito that will breed in any amount of fresh water, from the pooling of water in roof gutters to the pockets of water in buckets and planting pots.
The NSW Arbovirus Surveillance and Mosquito Monitoring program has provided Council with important information that the risk of Arboviruses in our local government area is low and that the best way reduce the mosquito breeding is by looking into our own backyards.
Mosquito surveillance has identified backyard mosquitoes as the City of Canada Bay's number one mosquito pest burden. To reduce opportunities for mosquito breeding, we have to minimise sites to breed which are fresh water bodies. The following measures can be undertaken in and around our homes to reduce pooling and bodies of water:
Female mosquitoes bite in order to obtain blood nutrients for breeding. Although not all mosquitoes bite, mosquitoes that do, can leave an allergic reaction which is the itch we sometimes feel.
This summer season, protect yourself and your family by: