Mossies on the rise

Health authorities have warned that mosquito numbers are on the rise with near-record numbers of larvae hatching in breeding areas in Northern Territory coastal regions, including the Greater Darwin Area.

This follows a combination of recent high tides and rain, creating ideal breeding conditions for the salt-marsh, or Aedes vigilax mosquito.

The increase in numbers comes despite an extensive mosquito spraying operation of more than 600 hectares by the Department of Health.

The salt-marsh mosquito can travel distances of up to 50km and can also carry the viruses for Ross River and Barmah Forest.

People are being urged to take the following precautions to avoid being bitten:

  • avoid locations near coastal swamps and mangrove areas
  • use mosquito-proof accommodation and camping facilities at night
  • wear light-coloured clothing with long sleeves, long trousers and socks between dusk and dawn in areas where mosquito bites are likely
  • use a protective repellent containing 20 per cent DEET or Picaridin as a supplement to protective clothing, with creams providing best protection
  • use mosquito coils, mosquito lanterns, and barrier sprays containing bifenthrin in patio and outdoor areas near houses
  • ensure children and animals are adequately protected against mosquito bites.

Go to Protecting yourself against mosquitoes for more information.

Health authorities are warning that mosquito numbers are on the rise in the Top End.