News

Cruelty free ways to repel insects

STOP PESTS: Mal Cullen from Boyd’s Bay Garden World with a lemon-scented geranium, which is a natural mosquito repellant.
STOP PESTS: Mal Cullen from Boyd’s Bay Garden World with a lemon-scented geranium, which is a natural mosquito repellant.

IF YOU fancy a virtually mosquito-free life without all the chemicals, a green thumb may be the thing to help.

Boyd's Bay Garden World nursery spokesman Mal Cullen said insect-repelling plants had become quite popular.

"A lot of people want to stop bugs from eating other plants or from biting them," he said.

Mr Cullen said any strongly scented plant would help, as their perfume often distracted bugs, but he warned most mosquito-repelling plants wouldn't work unless the oil was released.

He said placing plants like the citronella geranium along paths where their leaves could be lightly crushed by activity would make for an effective mosquito deterrent.

"You should definitely plant them around any outdoor seating area," he said.

And there are other natural options.

Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers bat co-ordinator Rhonda Miller said microbats ate 40% of their body weight in insects each night - and they're quite fond of mosquitoes.

Ms Miller said if your garden looked safe and comfortable, microbats were more likely to visit.

She said protected spaces like nesting boxes or peeling tree bark could encourage them to stay.

"If you have loose bark on your trees, don't pull it back," Ms Miller said.

Ms Miller said nesting boxes should be made from natural materials like timber and sheltered by a tree or the eaves of your house.

"They have to have something to grip onto," she said.

Ms Miller said it was important not to touch a microbat with bare hands.

If you find a microbat in danger, call Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers hotline: 02 6672 4789.

A spokesman for NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service said a native garden would be more inviting for mosquito-hungry critters.

Kill-free mozzie solutions

  • If you have a pond, install a fountain. The constant water movement won't appeal to mosquito mums. Native fish will eat mosquitoes and larvae while adding life to your pond.
  • Put sand in the saucer of pot plants to soak up excess water.
  • Clean out bird baths regularly.
  • Clean your gutters.
  • Tyre swings or anything else that holds stagnant water is a mosquito risk. Drill holes to let water drain.
  • If you have a rainwater tank or septic tank, make sure there are no openings for mosquitoes to enter and lay eggs.
  • Visit backyardbuddies.net.au and sign up for the newsletter.

What is a vector-borne disease?

A vector-borne disease is transmitted by a carrier; for example, mosquitoes pick up the virus which causes Ross river fever or the barmah forest virus, then transmits it on to humans when feeding.

2011 NSW Health statistics show Ross River Fever was the most common vector-borne disease in the state (577 cases), followed closely by Barmah Forest Virus Infection (459 cases).

In the 2012-13 financial year, the Tweed-Byron health district had 44 reported cases of Ross River fever and 74 reported cases of Barmah Forest Virus.

Deputy director of Public Health Greg Bell said while there's not usually a huge threat, Australians still need to be cautious of mosquito-transmitted diseases.

"Although vector borne diseases are down - they still persist - people still need to protect themselves against mosquito bites," Mr Bell said.



10 best street art spots to take an Insta selfie

IF YOU are in need of a few trendy new Instagram snaps, then get your phone and selfie-stick ready and head to Brisbane.

Where to find the best coffee

Strauss is known for its superb brew.

COFFEE snobbery is at an all-time high.

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

Don't miss Charles Edwards in this incredible theatre performance.

WHEN acting royalty comes to town, you sit up and take notice.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

NBN now reaches 15,000 in Tweed with more connections coming

NBN connections increasing.

THE NBN continues to be rolled out across the shire.

Lawyers fight extradition of man set to face murder charge

Police have been investigating the death of Michele Lord.

Lawyers fight application to extradite man to charge with murder.

Clay's courage for sister a sign of brotherly love

LITTLE HERO: Clay Ferruccio, 12, defended his home against a woman trying to steal their family 4WD.

Tweed teen confronts woman to protect his older sister.

Local Partners

Tweed light rail could lead to all Northern Rivers one day

THE planned light rail connection into Northern NSW from South-East Queensland has been identified as a big step forward in cross-border transport.


REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Neil Finn to headline Bluesfest

Neil Finn, of Crowded House fame, will play in Byron Bay with his wife Sharon and their band The Pyjama Club on June 11.

DON'T dream, it's not over, Neil Finn to hit the stage

Groom threatens to walk out of Married At First Sight

ANOTHER explosive MAFS breakup is looming over the weekly dinner party — and this time, it seems like everybody is involved.

'I wasn't naked': Blanca Blanco speaks out

Blanca Blanco arriving at the 89th Academy Awards. Picture: Ian West/PA WireSource:AAP

"It was a nude colour, it matches my skin, so I wasn’t naked.''

‘IT’S A LITTLE SAD’: Trump makes Oscars bungle all about him

US President Donald Trump claims Hollywood's elite were too busy mocking him to pay attention on Oscars night.

Donald Trump ‘explains’ Oscars stuff up.

Lama and Sarah’s ‘epic’ MKR fail

My Kitchen Rules contestants Lama and Sarah.

Tempers flare as Lebanese feast turns into an epic fail.

Oscars 2017: How did biggest award get stuffed up?

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

'Guys in headsets starting buzzing around. They took the envelope.'

Lisa Curry can't marry her fiance

Lisa Curry breaks down in the jungle.

Lisa Curry says she can’t get married to her fiance

The true cause of the Oscars bungle

Faye Dunaway, left, and Warren Beatty present the award for best picture at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Oscars ended with a moment that left everyone speechless.

Casino boss loses $4m on waterfront Sunshine Coast home

The owner of this stunning Noosa home accepted much less than he had initially wanted for the home.

When illness struck owner forced to try and cash out of property

Providing service for Tweed landlords

QUALITY SERVICE: TCM Rentals Coastal property consultant Wendy Hotchkiss  wants to provide quality service to Tweed landlords.

A new property management style.

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

A place to stay at the Gold Coast Airport

PLANS TAKE FLIGHT: Passengers could be staying at a new hotel at the Gold Coast Airport by 2019.

A new hotel at the airport could become a reality.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!