Mosquitoes and Other Pests

Mosquitos

Mosquitos can pose a nuisance and serious health risk to the community by transmitting Ross River and Barmah Forest Viruses.

Mosquito management program

The Shire of Harvey has a comprehensive mosquito management program in place involving monitoring and treatment. The program generally operates from late August to April each year.

Monitoring activities includes:

  • Visually checking and counting the larvae numbers in wetlands and salt marshes
  • Setting carbon dioxide and light traps to catch and count the number of adult mosquito present
  • Treatment activities where significant numbers of mosquito larva and adults are found

What you can do to fight the bite

While control activities help reduce mosquito numbers, mosquitoes are a fact of life in the South West.

Ways to protect yourself from being bitten include:

  • Avoid being outdoors during increased mosquito activity, such as at dawn and dusk
  • Wear loose fitting clothing that is light coloured
  • Cover your arms and legs
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET

To find out more visit Fight the Bite.

Mosquito control around your home

The majority of mosquitoes in the Shire are salt marsh mosquitoes called Aedes camptorhynchus.

These mosquitoes breed in wetlands; however, they can also breed in stagnant standing freshwater after periods of high rainfall.

Non chemical methods to repel mosquitoes

  • Use non-chemical methods to reduce or repel adult mosquitoes
  • Screen outdoor patios and sitting areas with fly screens and doors
  • Use a fan in outdoor areas to create an air pressure change that repels mosquitoes
  • Reduce the number of lights used at night in outdoor areas
  • Change to yellow or to low fluorescence globes
  • Use outdoor ‘bug zappers’ on patios and outdoor sitting areas
  • Cut, mow or reduce the amount of excess moist garden foliage.

Chemical methods to reduce or repel mosquitoes

  • Use mosquito coils, lamps, candles that burn citronella
  • Apply a residual insecticide product (one that remains on a surface for 1 – 2 weeks) on patio and house eves, door and windows sills, paved areas and some garden areas (read instructions carefully).

Remove standing or stagnant water

  • Dispose or empty regularly all water holding containers including old tyres, buckets, trays, tins, scrap metal, bowls and discarded toys
  • Ensure gutters are clean, free draining freely and do not hold stagnant water
  • Keeping ornamental ponds stocked with mosquito-eating fish, e.g. goldfish, koi
  • Empty pot plant drip trays once a week or filling them with sand
  • Empty and clean animal and pet drinking water containers once a week
  • Keep swimming pools well chlorinated, empty of leaves and run the filter once a day
  • Repairing leaking taps and reticulation which can cause pooling of water
  • Avoiding over watering lawns and sprinkler run off into storm water drains that create permanent pools of water in the storm water drain
  • Fit mosquito proof cowls on the vent pipes of septic systems
  • Screen rainwater tanks to prevent mosquitoes entering and laying their eggs on the water surface
  • Ensuring that ornamental garden plant such as bromeliads, do not hold water.

Important note: Please note points above have variable effects depending on the size of the area and number of mosquitoes present and are provided as suggestions only.

For more information on mosquito control visit the Department of Health website.

Rats and mice

Rodent numbers, like those of many wild animals, fluctuate according to a number of factors, including the season.

In the Shire, maintenance of infrastructure, including weed/grass control in parks and drainage basins, helps to reduce harbourage opportunity for rodents.

The Department of Health provides advice on how you can protect your health and keep rats and mice under control.

Flies

There are different types of flies found in Western Australia, including non-biting, biting, predatory, pollinating and parasitic.

Besides being nuisance, flies can also carry bacteria which cause food poisoning and other diseases. Flies can be a serious nuisance to humans and livestock.

You can prevent flies breeding in and around your home by taking some basic steps:

  • Make sure your mobile bin is clean and closed at all times
  • Wrap all foods scraps tightly and place them in the bi immediately
  • Don’t leave lawn clippings in heaps, rake them out thinly
  • Dig any manures and fertilisers well into the soil
  • Tightly wrap and dispose of any uneaten pet food
  • Keep poultry and pet areas clean at all times.

Portuguese millipedes

Portuguese millipedes usually become highly active after the first rains. They are not harmful to animals or humans, but they can be a significant domestic nuisance when they invade homes and gardens in large numbers, usually in early autumn.

They are one of the few millipede species that are attracted to lights at night, and this is presumably why they invade homes. Different properties will be affected by these millipedes to greater or lesser degrees depending on varying situations.

Stable Fly

Stable fly is an international insect that has become an aggravating pest in WA. It attacks humans, domestic pets and livestock. They will breed in any rotting or decaying organic matter such as ageing manure, rotting vegetable crops, rotting hay,straw, fermenting feed.

The key to control is managing its larval habitats, ideally removal or drying out.

Good management practices include:

  • High speed mulching
  • Regular removal of animal manure accumulation
  • Placing reject vegetable produce into pits and covering regularly with soil
  • Spreading manure and grass clippings into thin layers on the ground to dry out
  • Regular removal of accumulations of spilled grain or other organic material in pens and yards.

More information and contacts

For more information on managing mosquitoes and other pests please contact us.