Mosquitoes

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.

Your responsibilities

Mosquitoes need water to breed. Residents can therefore play an important role in reducing mosquitoes by preventing water from pooling in their homes and yards.

  • Empty standing water out of old tyres, buckets, plastic covers, toys, pet drinking bowls, bird baths, pot plant trays or any other container where “wrigglers” and “tumblers” live in the house or garden
  • Drill holes in tyres used for swings and garden surrounds to allow water to drain from them
  • Drain or fill temporary pools and tree hollows with dirt or sand
  • Keep swimming pools treated and circulating
  • Keep rain gutters unclogged
  • Avoid using water retaining plants – such as bromeliads in your garden. Where these are present, use a high pressure spray to kill larvae
  • Clear out any palm fronds and other vegetation from your garden
  • Boats and dinghies should be overturned or have the drain plug removed
  • Screen all openings to tanks, wells or other large water containers with wire gauze no coarser than 1mm mesh. This prevents mosquitoes from laying eggs
  • Cap brick walls made of cavity bricks to prevent water from pooling in the walls
  • Create a good ‘buffer’ zone between your house and any surrounding thick vegetation to avoid breeding sites.

What we do

Council's Vector Control Unit works to reduce the numbers of mosquitoes and midges and therefore limit the spread of diseases.

The Vector Control Unit's main activities are:

  • Proactive chemical spraying in known breeding areas (often called fogging)
  • 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
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Last updated: 07 January 2021