During the warmer months of the year, we conduct mosquito larvae monitoring at the Seaford Wetlands and coordinate management actions to control outbreaks.

We’re responsible for managing Seaford Wetlands in our role as caretaker of rivers, creeks and wetlands across the Greater Melbourne region. The wetlands naturally attract large numbers of mosquitos, but are not the only source of mosquitos in the area.

Why this is important

Melbourne is currently free of dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever. This would not be possible without the work of the Department of Health, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and Melbourne Water.

Monitoring is regularly conducted to make sure vector carriers like the African Yellow Fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) that are present in most tropical/subtropical countries of the world do not end up in Melbourne.

What’s happening and when

We monitor the wetlands monthly starting around August each year, and continuing during the warmer months until the seasonal conditions no longer favour mosquito development. Rain patterns make habitat more available, with extra water inundating areas that haven’t been wet in a few years.

Our activities include:

  • monitoring adult mosquitos and larvae
  • sending adult mosquitos to labs run by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for identification and examination for arboviruses
  • inspections to assess the effect of rain on mosquito larvae numbers
  • treatment and control of mosquito larvae if outbreak numbers are found.

If larvae numbers are excessive, larvacite briquettes are distributed in the wetlands. The briquettes mimic the juvenile mosquito hormone and disrupt the development of larvae and pupae in the water, with minimal impact on other fauna. They act for up to 150 days.

Previous monitoring results

Month

Resulting actions

October 2020 High to very high larvae abundances was found and briquette treatment was carried out in identified areas. Adult numbers were low-high.
September 2020 Low to extreme larvae abundance was found and briquette treatment was carried out in the identified areas to stop larvae forming. Adult numbers were found to be low to high.
April 2020 (final monitoring for the season) One site out of nine was reported to have larval populations with this population deemed to be extreme. Water levels were high due to 76mm of rain falling in the week prior to sampling. Adult numbers were moderate to high with female numbers remaining constant.
March 2020 A high number of adults were found in this survey, with larvae and pupae being abundant in 11 of the 24 sampling sites.
February 2020 Low to extreme numbers of larvae were found in the wetlands. Briquette treatment was applied to the areas identified to stop larvae developing into adults. Adult numbers were low-high.

December 2019

Low to extreme numbers of larvae were found in the wetlands. Briquette treatment was applied to the areas identified to stop larvae developing into adults. Adult numbers were low-moderate.

Please note that high numbers of biting midges were found particular at the Seaford North Primary School. Unfortunately there is no known efficient methods of controlling them.

October 2019 Very high and extreme numbers of larvae were found in the wetlands. Briquette treatment was applied to the areas identified to stop larvae developing into adults. Adult numbers were low.
September 2019

Moderate to high numbers of adults were found but low number of larvae in the wetland. Larvae monitoring will be carried out next month. No additional treatment is recommended at this time.

March 2019 Low numbers of larvae were found in areas of the wetlands. Briquette treatment was applied to the areas identified to stop larvae developing into adults. Adult numbers were lower than in the previous month.
January 2019

Very high-high numbers of larvae were found in areas of the wetlands. Briquette treatment was applied to the areas identified to stop larvae developing into adults. Adult numbers were lower than in the previous month

November 2018

High numbers of larvae were found in areas of the wetlands. Briquette treatment was applied to the areas identified to stop larvae developing into adults. Adult numbers were low-moderate.

September 2018

Very high numbers of larvae were found in areas of the wetlands. Briquette treatment was applied to the areas identified to stop larvae developing into adults. Adult numbers were low.

August 2018 High numbers of larvae were found in areas of the wetlands. Briquette treatment was applied to the areas identified to stop larvae developing into adults. Adult numbers were low.

What you can do at home

You can protect yourself from mosquitos by:

  • getting rid of stagnant water around the home or campsites, where mosquitos breed, including:
    • old tyres
    • unused fish ponds
    • unsealed water tanks
    • pot plant holders
  • ensuring that insect screens fitted to doors and windows are in good condition
  • wearing long, loose-fitting clothing and using a suitable insect repellent (containing picaridin or DEET as an active ingredient) on exposed skin during the warmer months of the year.

For further information and advice, visit the Victorian Government’s Better health - beat the bite webpage.

​Your feedback

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131 722

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Last updated:
24 November 2020