Cairns has a tropical climate with lush rainforests, mangroves and high rainfall, which create ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes and biting midges.
More than 220 mosquito species can be found in Queensland, and many of these are carriers of diseases such as Malaria, Ross River Fever and Dengue Fever. Fortunately, none of these diseases are endemic to this area. However, they can be easily introduced by infected visitors who travel to the region from countries where the diseases occur.
Vector Control Unit
Vectors are animals that carry bacteria, parasites, viruses or other micro-organisms that are hazardous to human health. Council's Vector Control Unit works to reduce the numbers of mosquitoes and midges and therefore limit the spread of vector-borne diseases.
The Vector Control Unit's main activities are:
- Proactive chemical spraying in known breeding areas
- Response to complaints of vector breeding
- Cooperation with Queensland Health in anti-Dengue Fever procedures
- Proactive on-site monitoring procedures to determine breeding sites and vector species
- Development of biological control measures, such as specific fish breeds, to lessen the reliance on chemical means of control of nuisance mosquito larvae
- Maintenance of a Mosquito Chemical Allergy Register.
Nuisance mosquito control
Mosquitoes require water to breed. Females lay eggs on the water surface or on the water's edge. The eggs hatch into larvae (wrigglers) that live under the water and become pupae (tumblers) that again live under the water, before emerging as an adult, flying mosquito.
Council only uses environmentally friendly chemicals that have been specifically approved for mosquito control. If you do not wish to be exposed to mosquito control chemicals, contact Council's Environmental Health Unit to have your details recorded in the Mosquito Chemical Allergy Register.
Spraying for the control of adult mosquitoes is conducted before 8am to minimise the impact on people. No chemical treatment occurs within close proximity of residents listed on the Mosquito Chemical Allergy Register. The control of mosquito larvae and responding to complaints is dealt with during business hours.