Hamish brings mozzie tide

GOLD Coast residents are being urged to break out the insect repellent and cover up, as mosquito numbers increase in the wake of recent exceptionally high tides.

Wild weather associated with former Tropical Cyclone Hamish not only whipped up high tides, triggering the hatching of saltmarsh mosquito larvae, but hindered Gold Coast City Council mozzie control efforts, by restricting areas able to receive aerial treatment.

Council's community and cultural development committee chair, Councillor Bob La Castra, said pest management staff had been undertaking ground-based larviciding of these areas to reduce mosquito numbers.

“However, it is difficult to cover the same area from the ground, so we will begin to see larger than normal numbers of mosquitoes in the city, particularly in the north,” Cr La Castra said.

“Affected areas will be fogged in an attempt to reduce the number of mosquitoes.

“Saltmarsh mosquitoes can carry Ross River fever and Barmah Forest virus. Fortunately, we have had few cases of these illnesses reported in the city in recent months.

“But it is advisable to cover up and use insect repellent outdoors, particularly at dusk and dawn.”

Mozzie numbers should return to normal within a few weeks.

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