Mozzie Management Matters! A Quick Look at Mosquitoes & Management in Australia
Did you know that mosquitoes have been wreaking havoc on Earth for millions of years?
From the mosquito borne diseases that have affected the armies of Alexander the Great and Attila the Hun, to the yellow fever of the 20th Centurythat almost stopped construction of the Suez and Panama Canals, mozzies are capable of bringing great wrath upon us.
In this article, we take a look at mozzie history and why mozzie management matters!
Mozzie Management History
Since the early 1900s, various mosquito control measures have been developed to prevent the dangers of mozzie-carried illnesses. Prior to World War I, great advances in mozzie management were achieved, particularly in regards to protecting troops against malaria. This resulted in the creation of DDT (now banned) and other insecticides.
In Australia, we’ve been fortunate enough to avoid significant cases of mosquito-influenced disease, though there were serious outbreaks of the Ross River Fever in 1928 and the Dengue Fever in 2008-9 (in the Northern Queensland area).
More recently, the Asian tiger mosquito, also known for spreading various infectious diseases, was also uncovered on the islands of the Torres Strait (this problem is currently being managed by Queensland Health).
Why Managing Mozzies Matters
Australia has over 300 different species of mosquito. Various mosquito programs ensure that the mozzie population can be controlled at an acceptable level and managed accordingly if an outbreak does occur.
This is particularly important in tropical areas – like the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and other areas of Queensland – that rely heavily on tourism.
Managing mozzies is also important when it comes to the lifestyles of the Australian people. Spending time in the great outdoors is a big part of our culture, but the persistent biting of mosquitoes can easily make outdoor activities unbearable. For certain retail and other businesses (e.g. outdoor cafes), mozzies can also drive away customers, lowering activity and sales.
Learning About Mozzie Management
There is no single way to control mosquito pests; instead,the most effective service will usually mean integrating several different approaches into your treatment:
1. Reducing Potential Breeding Areas: This can be achieved by filling or draining roadside ditches and stagnant ponds, unblocking guttering and removing standing water that may be located in the area. Establishing a buffer zone between wetlands and populated areas is important, too. In larger or public locations, constructing wetlands to facilitate water movement can also help inhibit larval growth.
2. Using Pesticides:Pesticides can play an effective role in mosquito management and these solutions are often low cost, with the ability to quickly eradicate large mozzie populations. Chemical use must be administered carefully, as overuse can lead to pest resistance and also environmental damage.
3. Introducing Biological Agents: Introducing known mozzie predators can play a valuable role in managing mosquito infestations in larger areas, but only if it is part of a greater management plan and is environmentally sensitive. For example, introducing native species (e.g. larval eating fish) can beideal, as they are less likely to disrupt the overall ecosystem.
With summer not far off, now is the best time to begin incorporating a mosquito service into your Pest Control solutions!
For more advice on mozzie management and chemical control, contact your local Agserv branch