Mosquitoes are blood-sucking insects that transmit many diseases to people and animals around the world. In Australia, there are more than 300 species of mosquitoes, but only a small number are of major concern.

Serious diseases transmitted by mosquitoes to humans throughout Australia include:

  • dengue fever
  • Australian encephalitis
  • Ross River virus
  • Barmah Forest virus.

Malaria has rarely been transmitted locally in Australia during recent decades.

In addition to spreading disease, mosquitoes' persistent biting can disrupt occupational, recreational and social activities.

How to avoid mosquito bites

Simple things you can do to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes include:

  • wearing long, loose-fitting clothes
  • covering up as much as possible
  • using an effective mosquito repellent on all exposed skin
  • preventing mosquito breeding around your own home
  • installing fly screens on windows and doors
  • using mosquito coils or insecticide candles in small, outdoor areas.

How to control mosquitoes around the home

Steps to preventing mosquitoes from breeding around your home include:

  • cleaning up your yard and removing anything where water can collect, such as unused pots or tyres
  • covering or overturning trailers, wheelbarrows, boats, tools and children’s playground toys to avoid water collection
  • keeping gutters and drains clean so water runs freely
  • mending leaking taps
  • changing pet drinking bowls, bird baths and vase water at least once a week, and more regularly in very warm weather
  • putting sand around the base of pot plants
  • keeping swimming pools well maintained or empty or securely covered when not in use
  • keeping fish ponds tidy with minimal vegetation around the edges
  • keeping lawns and gardens trimmed back to reduce the areas where mosquitoes rest
  • checking water tanks for gaps around lids, covers and inlet pipes (fit a removable screen mesh to the outlet end of overflow pipes and to all water inlets if needed)
  • making sure all water collection containers have secure lids or screens.

Mosquitoes on neighbouring properties

If you see excessive mosquito activity from stagnant water on a neighbouring property, we recommend you first speak to the owner of the property and direct them to this page for information. This is usually the most effective way to resolve the situation.

The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria has some good advice on how to approach your neighbour.

Council doesn't provide any direct services for removing or managing mosquitoes. You can find more information on mosquito control and disease prevention on Better Health Channel.

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