Council blitz drives down mozzie numbers

5 February 2016

Gold Coasters have been spared one of the worst mosquito seasons on record thanks to an “operational blitz’’ by Council officers over the past 18 months.

The targeted campaign has earned praise from Mayor Tom Tate as he welcomed an international mosquito expert visiting the city.

USA’s Panama City Beach Mosquito Control District entomologist Mike Riles is spending the week on the Gold Coast to assess the City of Gold Coast’s mosquito control program.

“We were facing one of the worst seasons on record until our team stepped in to increase their efforts in key breeding areas,’’ said Cr Tate.

“2015 was a horror year, so our Pest Management Unit has ramped up control methods including chemicals, habitat modification and native fish release.

“The big weapon was an intensive surveillance and spraying program to detect the spread of exotic mosquitoes to our region and monitor adult mosquito populations throughout the city.

“We have invested $2.2 million in our mosquito control program this year, spraying about 31,500 hectares in the last 18 months, which is 8000 more than we normally tackle.”

Cr Tate urged residents to remove any standing water on their property this wet season, such as empty pot plants.

“Our land-based program manages a total of 964 potential mosquito breeding sites and we give away hundreds of native fish each year,” he said.

“Anyone with a backyard has a part to play.

“Learning from international leaders in this field is also helping keep residents safe.”

Mr Riles said he would be providing information about new products and various successful initiatives which the City could implement.

“Panama City has a similar climate and we use similar techniques for mosquito control,” he said.

“At the moment, we are at a 10-year low so we want to continue to learn and teach other cities our methodology so we can ensure we live in a safe city.

“From what I have seen, City of Gold Coast’s current programs are very effective and hands on.”

Those travelling to tropical areas should be prepared against the Zika virus.

Travel advice should be sought from Queensland Health or the Department of Foreign Affairs via www.SmartTraveller.gov.au.

 

Council blitz drives down mozzie numbers photo