Protecting yourself against mosquitoes

You should do the following to protect yourself against mosquitoes:

  • stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active, from just before to two hours after sunset
  • make sure flyscreens in houses or caravans are in good condition
  • use a mosquito-proof tent or sleep under a mosquito net when you are camping - repellents only protect you for up to four hours, not all night
  • avoid using scents such as perfume or deodorants as these can attract mosquitoes - so can sweat
  • use protective clothing in outdoor situations, including covering your feet, legs and arms - loose, light-coloured clothing is best
  • use personal repellents containing DEET or picaridin on areas of exposed skin in combination with protective clothing
  • use electric devices with repellent-treated pads in indoor or enclosed areas
  • use mosquito coils or lanterns with insecticide-treated pads for patio and veranda, or sheltered outdoor situations.

Mosquitoes around your home

Mosquitoes breed in water.

Around your home, you should get rid of any containers that collect rainwater such as blocked roof gutters, wheelbarrows, buckets, plant drip trays and old tyres. If you cannot get rid of water holding items, they should be stored under cover or upside down.

You should also do all of the following:

  • change your pet's water every seven days - mosquitoes can carry heartworm which can infect your dog
  • empty pot plant drip trays weekly or fill with sand
  • screen rainwater and septic tanks
  • keep fish ponds stocked with fish
  • maintain your swimming pool
  • make sure your house or caravan screens don't have holes in them.

Residual spray

You can buy residual barrier sprays such as outdoor barrier surface spray or similar that can be used to provide longer term protection from adult mosquitoes around your house. These residual insecticides should be applied in outdoor areas according to label recommendations. 

The application should be done by a licensed pest controller. Be careful with all such products as they can affect other insects and animals, including fish.

For more information go to insects of medical importance.

Last updated: 27 June 2017