Ways to protect yourself

By following these simple steps, you can stop the mosquito breeding cycle and protect your home, family and pets from mosquitoes.

Protect yourself and your household

You can protect yourself by:

  • limiting your time in mosquito-prone areas, especially around dawn and dusk
  • wearing loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing with long sleeves and long trousers
  • using a personal insect repellent containing picaridin or DEET on exposed skin
  • screening doors and windows or using air conditioning
  • sleeping under a mosquito bed net
  • using mosquito coils, lanterns and insecticide emanators
  • switching on a fan as the airflow produced will help keep mosquitoes away
  • managing containers which can become water-filled around your property
  • screening and maintaining your rainwater tanks.

Rainwater tanks and mosquitoes

Scientific reports have suggested unmaintained rainwater tanks may be the means for the dengue mosquito re-establishing in Brisbane. Rainwater tanks that are not properly sealed and screened can provide ideal conditions for these types of mosquitoes to breed all year round.

You can stop mosquitoes breeding in your rainwater tank by:

  • ensuring there is no debris in the tank
  • cleaning roof guttering to prevent water pooling
  • ensuring water does not pool on the tank lid
  • sealing all entry routes to the rainwater tank including inlet and overflow pipes with mosquito-proof screens.

A gap the size of a matchstick head is enough to let mosquitoes into your tank to lay eggs.

Mosquito-proof screens should:

  • have openings less than one millimetre
  • be made of stainless steel or aluminium
  • be secure but removable for cleaning. In some systems, screens can be incorporated into a rainhead, first flush device or underground filter pit.

If you find mosquito larvae (or “wrigglers”) inside the tank, you can eliminate them by adding a small amount of liquid paraffin or edible kitchen oil to form a thin film on the surface of the water. This stops any hatched mosquitoes flying off.

It is further recommended, you find out how the mosquitoes got into your rainwater tank and make necessary repairs to ensure your tank is sealed.

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