Larvicide monitoring and ground treatments begin
COUNCIL Mosquito Management Officers have begun conducting larvicide monitoring and ground treatments around townships.
Surf Coast Shire General Manager Place Making and Environment Chris Pike said the mosquito management program protects the community from mosquitoes that spread disease.
“We undertake surveillance, control, and prevention services,” Mr Pike said.
The City of Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire implement larvicides at breeding sites that have been approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.
“Larvicides are applied as specified on the product label. They are specifically designed to target mosquito larvae and do not harm people, pets, or the general environment,” Mr Pike said.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control classify mosquitoes as the “world’s deadliest animal”.
These vectors, responsible for diseases like dengue, malaria, Zika, chikungunya, lymphatic filariasis, and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) claim a staggering 700,000 lives annually.
Since 1 January 2021, 45 people have been infected with JEV in Australia and seven people died as a result.
While the official emergency response ended in June JEV remains a nationally notifiable disease in humans and animals.
In February, Victoria reported its first Murray River encephalitis case since 1974, involving a woman in her 60s.
Meanwhile, the Buruli ulcer, linked to possums and mosquitoes, is surging, according to the Department of Health.
The disease is now found on the Surf Coast, Bellarine Peninsula, Greater Geelong, and many other parts of the state.
As of October 2, 2023, there were 238 cases reported, compared to 207 in 2022, 197 in 2021, and 135 in 2020. City of Greater Geelong Executive Director Community Service Delivery Robyn Stevens said the City’s mosquito management program operates to reduce mosquito levels; the aim wasn’t to eradicate them completely.
“This is done to minimise the health risks associated with diseases like Ross River Virus and Mycobacterium (Buruli) ulcerans and to reduce the impact of biting mosquitoes on our health, wellbeing, and ability to enjoy our environment,” Mr Stevens said.
“While we’re working hard to safely reduce their numbers, mosquitoes are a fact of life in our region,” he said.