Say buzz off to mosquitoes this summer

 SHIRE of Mundaring is encouraging residents to be mosquito safe this summer.

The reminder comes as the Shire receives an increasing number of mosquito related complaints including reported cases of Ross River Virus (RRV).

RRV is a mosquito-borne virus which is common in Western Australia. Symptoms include, but are not limited to; painful/swollen joints; sore muscles; fever; tiredness; headaches; and swollen lymph nodes.

Senior Environmental Health Officer at Shire of Mundaring, Martin Shurlock, said the number of reported incidents of RRV in 2017 was already much greater than previous years.

"So far this year we have had 12 reported cases of Ross River Virus," Mr Shurlock said.

"By comparison, the Shire was only made aware of nine cases in total in 2015 and just one case in total in 2016."

Mr Shurlock said there were a number of precautions people could take to minimise the prevalence of mosquitoes around their homes.

"Mosquitoes tend to lay their eggs in places containing stagnant water including stagnant fish ponds, pot plants, bird baths and old tyres," Mr Shurlock said.

"Emptying or changing the water in these containers can help mitigate the number of mosquitoes around your house. If emptying the water is not possible then applying a thin layer of paraffin oil to stagnant water can prevent the survival of mosquito larvae," he said.

Stop mosquitoes breeding around your home by following these simple steps:

  • Empty out or discard containers and rubbish that may hold water
  • Clean out roof gutters to prevent water from pooling
  • Empty, clean and refill bird baths, stock troughs and pet water bowls at least once a week
  • Keep swimming pools properly maintained and free of debris
  • Empty wading pools at the end of each day
  • Stock backyard ponds with fish to eat mosquito larvae
  • Cover rainwater and septic tank openings, wells or other large water containers with mosquito-proof mesh
  • Keep edges of ponds clear of vegetation.

Mr Shurlock said other mosquito deterrents included flywire on doors and windows, wearing personal insect repellent and/or wearing light, long sleeved, loose-fitting clothing.

If mosquitoes continue to be a problem around your home, contact the Shire on 9290 6742 and ask to speak to an environmental health officer. Alternatively, contact the Department of Health (Environmental Health Hazards) on 9285 5500.

More information about mosquitoes is available on the Shire website www.mundaring.wa.gov.au or the Department of Health HealthyWA webpage.

If you believe you, or someone you know, may be experiencing symptoms of RRV contact your GP to make an appointment or call Health Direct on 1800 022 222.

ENDS


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