Mosquitoes could be out in force this season

Mosquitoes could be out in full force in Victoria this year with a wetter than usual spring and summer expected in the Goulburn Valley according to the Shepparton News.

Greater Shepparton City Council is warning residents that the La Niña weather pattern in 2020 may lead to an increase in mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases this season.

La Niña is a weather pattern that brings with it cooler weather and more rain, resulting in an expected wetter than usual spring and summer.

Greater Shepparton City Council's sustainable development director Geraldine Christou said mosquitoes laid their eggs on or around stagnant or still water such as ponds, backyard plant containers, clogged gutters, floodplains or wetlands.

“The more rain and water, the more opportunities for mosquitoes to multiply,” she said.

“While many think of mosquitoes as simply annoying, they do carry and transmit viruses or bacteria into our blood that can result in illness.”

Ms Christou said dengue and malaria were two of the more significant viruses carried by mosquitoes, both of which Australia has been lucky enough to avoid.

“However, mosquitoes still cause debilitating diseases in Australia every year,” she said.

These include transmission of Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus and the potentially fatal Murray Valley encephalitis virus.

Council advises residents there are simple steps they can take to reduce the impacts of mosquitoes.

Wearing insect repellent when outdoors will help reduce your chance of mosquito bites.

It is also important to tip out, cover up, or throw away any water-holding containers around your property, at least once a week.

“While it is impossible to guarantee an increase in disease this year, Greater Shepparton residents will have to be on their toes when out and about this spring and summer,” Ms Christou said.

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