Mosquitoes and Midges

Mosquito management

Mosquitoes are not just an inconvenience; some species can transmit the Ross River Virus (RRV) and Barmah Forest Virus (BFV) to humans. The symptoms of these viruses can include conditions like painful swollen joints, sore muscles, rashes, and fever. 

Find out how the City manages mosquitoes and what you can do at home. 
Why we monitor mosquito numbers and species
The primary purpose of monitoring mosquito numbers and species is to reduce the potential spread of RRV and BFV.  

A particular focus is given to residential swimming pools lacking in maintenance, as these can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. To detect such pools, the City uses data from the Nearmap system, updated monthly. 
The City’s approach to treating water bodies
The City's lake systems are of significant environmental importance. The City does not chemically treat any of the natural lakes or wetlands in Cockburn for mosquitoes.  

The City’s Health Services team treat mosquito breeding in man-made water bodies with environmentally sensitive treatment options. 
Protecting yourself from mosquitoes
To stay safe and reduce exposure to mosquito bites: 
  • Limit outdoor activities during dawn and dusk 
  • Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and long, loose-fitting pants 
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin 
  • Ensure your doors and windows have well-fitted and maintained fly screens. 
Checking your property for breeding sources
To reduce potential mosquito breeding sites: 
  • Empty pot plant bases weekly or use sand to absorb water 
  • Regularly wash out bromeliads and other water-holding plants 
  • Maintain clear roof gutters and trim trees blocking them 
  • Ensure rainwater tank overflow pipes are screened and access covers secured 
  • Maintain swimming pools 
  • Screen plumbing and vents to septic tanks 
  • Clean birdbaths and ornamental pools weekly. 
Visit the Department of Health website for more information on mosquito management.

Midge management

Midges, also known scientifically as Chironomidae, are different from mosquitoes and don't bite. They're essential for many freshwater ecosystems.  

While the City manages midge numbers, we always consider their ecological importance, striking a balance between preservation and control. Midges can become a nuisance for residents living near wetlands. Monitoring them helps in predicting and minimising their inconvenience. An increase in midge disturbances often indicates broader issues, such as wetland ecosystem degradation. 

The City implements a mix of short and long-term strategies to effectively manage midge populations. Read on for a summary of strategies used, or download the full strategy below. 
Short term midge management strategies
To address immediate midge disturbances and reduce their impact on residents, the City adopts the following strategies: 
  • Growth inhibitors: These prevent midge larvae from becoming adults 
  • Light traps: Designed to capture adult midges 
  • Larvicides and insecticides: Used carefully to manage midge numbers while protecting other wildlife and preventing midges from becoming resistant. 
Long-term midge management strategies
For lasting solutions and to tackle the root causes of midge problems, the City focuses on: 
  • Revegetation: Planting around wetlands to shade water and reduce light, making it less appealing for midges. 
  • Water quality improvement: Better water quality means fewer midges. This is achieved by cutting down on fertiliser use and reducing runoff. 
  • Nutrient reduction: Plants around wetlands absorb excess nutrients, helping to reduce the number of midges. 
  • Bat boxes: Encouraging bats, which are natural midge predators, by installing bat boxes. 
  • Public education and collaboration: Working with other organisations and keeping the public informed helps strengthen the City's efforts. 

Minimising midge problems at home

If midges are bothering you:
  • Keep your windows and doors closed
  • Put up fine mesh screens
  • Use electric light traps
  • Avoid light coloured surfaces around your home
  • Reduce outside lighting or use yellow or motion-sensor lights 
  • Use foggers if you're hosting an event outdoors. 

More information and contact 

For more details on mosquito management, contact the City’s Health Services team on 08 9411 3444 or email [email protected]

For more details on midge management, contact the City’s Environmental Services team on 08 9411 3444 or email [email protected].



City of Cockburn
Whadjuk Boodja
9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

Office opening hours:
8.30am to 4.30pm
Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

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Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for Country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past and present.