Blitz on mozzies to help take bite out of itchy Summer

Published on 16 November 2023


With mosquito season now in full flight, residents are being urged to trim lawns and gardens and clean up areas where water may have pooled in their backyards to prevent insect bites and associated health issues this summer.

Fluctuating temperatures and spring growth coupled with open wetlands and waterways across the municipality contribute to ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes.

Council this month launched its annual mozzie offensive with a monitoring and trapping program to gather evidence of where the insects may be breeding.

While checking stagnant waterways and parks, staff will also inspect and map locations in newly developed areas where works may have disturbed vegetation, soils and surface water.

Council will also continue to work closely with neighbouring councils and Victorian health authorities to monitor mosquito numbers over summer.

Mayor, Cr Cuc Lam, is calling on residents to do their bit to mozzie-proof their own backyards and gardens to help reduce mosquito numbers and risk of mosquito-borne illnesses.

“Reducing the opportunities for mosquitoes to breed in stagnant water on properties, pools, ponds and other containers is key to controlling them and the risk they pose to public health,” she said.

Mosquitos spread disease including Barmah Forest virus disease, Ross River virus disease, Japanese encephalitis and Murray River encephalitis.

There is also growing evidence linking a common container breeding mosquito Aedes nodoscriptus to an increasing number of cases of Burli ulcer - a bacterial skin infection which usually starts as a painless lump or wound which can be initially mistaken for an insect bite but over time develops into a skin ulcer.

238 cases of Burli ulcer were notified across Victoria up until October 2023, compared with 207 for the same time last year and fewer than 200 the year before, with an increasing incidence in inner Melbourne suburbs, including neighbouring Moonee Valley and Merri-bek.

How you can help:

  • Limit mosquito breeding sites around homes by removing stagnant water from objects such as gutters, pot plant containers, buckets, discarded tyres or tins.
  • Put sand around the base of pot plants to absorb water before it can pool.
  • Keep lawns and gardens trimmed back to limit areas where mosquitos rest.
  • Change water in pet drinking bowls, bird baths and vases at least once a week.
  • Check and maintain rainwater tanks and water storage vessels to ensure screens are intact.
  • Mosquito-proof your home by ensuring there are no holes in insect screens.
  • Wear light-coloured long-sleeved clothing when outdoors.
  • Use personal insect repellents containing diethyltoluamide (DEET) or picaridin.
  • Avoid mosquito-prone areas especially at dusk and dawn, when they are more active.
  • Visit your doctor if you have a new or persistent sore, ulcer or skin infection.

Any resident concerned someone may be allowing mosquitoes to breed on their land, please contact Council. Education advice and translation support services are available.

For more information on symptoms and treatment of Buruli ulcers, visit the Victorian Department of Health website or the Better Health Channel website.