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Current status - April 2020: 1 of 9 sites was reported to have larval populations. Adult numbers were moderate to high, with female numbers remaining constant.

As caretaker of rivers, creeks and wetlands across Melbourne, we are responsible for managing Seaford Wetlands. This naturally attracts large numbers of mosquitos, but is not the source of all mosquitos in the area. 

Listening and responding to the local community, we have implemented mosquito larvae monitoring and coordinate management actions to control mosquito outbreaks during the warmer months of the year.

What's happening and when

​The wetlands are monitored monthly starting around August each year and larvacite briquettes are distributed in the wetlands if excessive larvae numbers are present. The briquettes mimic the mosquito juvenile 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.

This monitoring will continue during the warmer months until the seasonal conditions no longer favour mosquito development. Rain patterns make habitat more available with extra water in areas that haven't been wet in a few years now being inundated.

Activities include:

  • monitoring of adult mosquitos and larvae
  • adult mosquitos will be sent to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) labs for identification and examination for arboviruses inspections will assess the effect of rains on mosquito larvae numbers
  • treatment and control of mosquito larvae if outbreak numbers are found

Previous activities

Month

Activity

April 2020 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.
April 2018 (final monitoring for the season) Low levels of larvae detected, no treatment recommended.
February 2018 No larvae were found at survey sites in the wetland. Some adults were found. Briquette treatment from December still effective.
January 2018 Low numbers of larvae were found in areas of the wetlands. Briquette treatment was effective in treating the large number of larvae present last month. Some adults were found.

Why this project is important

Melbourne is currently free of dengue fever, chikungunya or 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 you can do at home

Mosquito numbers can be reduced by getting rid of stagnant water around the home or campsites. Mosquitos will breed in any receptacle that can hold water including old tyres, unused fish ponds, unsealed water tanks and pot plant holders.

Householders should ensure that insect screens fitted to doors and windows are in good condition.

Residents are advised to wear long, loose-fitting clothing and use a suitable insect repellent containing picaridin or DEET as an active ingredient on exposed skin areas during the warmer months of the year.

For further information and advice:

Better health - beat the bite

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Last updated:
29 May 2020