The Citys Health Service conduct routine trapping, using dry ice (carbon dioxide) and light traps between October and March. Trap sites include Lake Coogee (North), Lake Coogee (East), Thomsons Lake (West), Bartram Road Buffer Ponds - Onsite and Offsite (Thomsons Lake East), Kogolup Lake (East), North Lake Road (Wetland), Bibra Lake (East), Market Garden Swamp (West). Health Services also respond to enquiries and requests regarding increase of mosquito numbers in residential areas. Traps can be set in these areas to establish numbers and species which can provide information as to specific types of water bodies (natural or man made) that should be further investigated.
Why do Health Services monitor mosquito numbers and species?
Although most mosquitoes will be considered a nuisance, entering houses and buzzing in your ear whilst searching for a blood meal, some species are known vectors of Ross River Virus (RRV) and Barmah Forest Virus (BFV). RRV and BFV can impact significantly on an infected persons lifestyle. Symptoms can include painful and/or swollen joints, sore muscles, aching tendons, skin rashes, fever, tiredness, headaches and swollen lymph nodes. It is Health Services aim to reduce annual reported cases of RRV and BFV within the City by introducing sound management principles and practices.
Why do mosquitoes need a blood meal?
It is only the adult female mosquito that requires a blood meal (protein) to produce eggs. Some mosquito species can fly up to 50km in search of a blood meal, most species average up to 2-5km. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide (exhaled air), warmth, body odour, perspiration and light.
Do Health Services spray the lakes?
The Citys lake systems are not only recreationally and aesthetically valuable but of significant environmental importance. For example Thomsons Lake is a RAMSAR listed Wetland of International Importance (migratory birds). Thomsons Lake is one of 19 wetlands in Beeliar Regional Park and is the largest lake in the regional parks eastern chain of wetlands. Collectively the lakes form one of the most important wetland systems in the Perth metropolitan area. It is for this reason the Citys Health Service does not chemically treat any of the natural lakes and ecosystems.
What about man made water bodies and structures?
Health Services are actively investigating, mapping and where necessary treating mosquito breeding man made water bodies with target specific and environmentally sensitive treatment options.
Health Services also focus on residential swimming pools that have not been maintained (filtration and chlorination) and provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes. With the licence acquisition of Nearmap mapping system (updated monthly), the Citys Health Service identify and contact property owners of unmaintained pools and require action to be taken.
What can I do to protect myself and stop mosquitoes breeding around my home?
Department of Health WA info:
Avoid Being Bitten - Take Care
Avoid Being Bitten - Take Care
Wear long sleeved shirts, pants & apply insect repellent whenever outside or in mosquito breeding environments to reduce risk of acquiring Ross River Virus or Barmah Forest Virus.
Phone: 9411 3589
Department of Health WA - Environmental Health Hazards Branch: Mosquitoes
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