AVOID THE BITE: Central Highlands Regional Council's Cadet Environmental Health Officer Yulia Anurina with a mosquito trap.
AVOID THE BITE: Central Highlands Regional Council's Cadet Environmental Health Officer Yulia Anurina with a mosquito trap. CHRC

You can avoid a bite

EXPERTS are warning increased rainfall and the affects of tropical cyclone Debbie may lead to an increase in a larger mosquito population.

Central Highlands Regional Council's supervisor environmental services, Perry Dedes, is reminding residents that they can help "fight the bite” and reduce mozzie numbers in the region by following a few simple steps.

"There are two types of mosquitos we deal with here in the Highlands, the familiar Scotch Greys that love rivers, creeks, swamps and bushland and the ones that love stagnant water near humans,” he said.

"While Scotch Greys can be annoying and cause discomfort, from a public health perspective they are not the ones to worry about. The mozzies that can carry disease only breed in containers that hold water around houses, buildings and work yards.”

Mr Dedes said we "all have a part to play to help reduce mosquito numbers in our community”.

"It's as easy as covering up, using repellent and, most importantly, cleaning up areas at home or work that can hold water.”

Mr Dedes said residents should check all containers that can hold water weekly, including loose tyres, bird baths, pot-plant bases, the plant itself, rainwater tank screens and empty buckets.

"Tip it out, store it away when not in use and throw it if you don't need it,” he said.

Although mosquito populations may be an issue, the number of reported cases of mosquito-borne viruses in Central Queensland is lower than average.

However, health professionals are warning residents to remain vigilant.

Director of Central Queensland Public Health Unit Dr Kerryn Coleman said in the latest reporting period, up to April 2017 there had been three confirmed cases of Barmah Forest virus and 38 confirmed cases of Ross River virus in the region.

"Mosquito-borne diseases may cause illness ranging from mild to very serious,” Dr Coleman said.

"Illness may include flu-like symptoms such as pain in muscles and joints, rashes, headaches and fever.”

Although the mosquitos are frustrating, the council can only fog when numbers reach a level of concern.

"This is determined by mosquito trapping results and verified complaint levels. Council is currently collecting this data and will continue to monitor the situation,” Mr Dedes said.

Residents are encourage to report unusually high mosquito infestations to council by calling 1300242686.