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General topics
Note Some information on this page copied from SA Dept of Human Services web site.

Avoiding mosquito bites

Mosquito bites can be more than just a nuisance. Mosquito bites can also transmit several diseases. The most common disease passed on by mosquitoes in South Australia is Ross River fever. Other serious infections transmitted by mosquitoes are dengue fever (in Northern Queensland and in tropical countries around the world) and malaria (in tropical countries around the world).

People contract Ross River virus from mosquitoes during summer from many parts of South Australia. The most common areas are along the Murray River, Murray Lakes and coastal mangrove areas. However, this should not stop people visiting these areas as simple protection is possible.

Following this simple advice will reduce the chance of mosquito bites and reduce the number of mosquitoes in the immediate environment.

Self protection from mosquito bites
  • Wear loose fitting, light coloured clothing covering up as much of the body as possible. Mosquitoes can bite through tight fitting clothing, such as jeans.
  • Use insect repellents containing DEET (Diethyl toluamide) to cover areas of exposed skin. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions prior to application. Wash DEET off before going to bed in the evening. Do not use on infants if the DEET concentration exceeds 20%.
  • Use insect screens on your house, boat, caravan or tent. If this is not possible, use a mosquito net.
Elimination of breeding sites
Mosquitoes breed in still water (fresh and salty). Clean up mosquito breeding sites around your house.
  • Dispose of all containers which hold water (cover or put holes in them).
  • Empty pot plant drip trays once a week or put sand around pot plants bases to absorb water in each dish.
  • Replace bird baths and pets’ drinking water at least once a week.
  • Boats, canoes and dinghies should be overturned or have the drain plug removed so that they do not hold water after rain.
  • Screen all openings to tanks, wells or other large water containers with wire gauze no coarser than 1 mm mesh.
  • Keep roof gutters in good repair and regularly remove leaves and debris so that pools of water do not form, especially in depressed areas.
  • Dispose of all waste water in such a way that no ponding occurs. Keep all open drains and channels free from obstructions, especially weeds, grass, and other debris.
  • Keep fish ponds, ornamental ponds, dams and unused swimming pools stocked with fish. Goldfish and Australian fish are recommended.
  • Keep swimming pools disinfected or salted.


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