Protecting your Australian home from mosquito-borne viruses should be a priority as we approach Spring/Summer and insect colonies begin to thrive in these warmer, wetter conditions.
In Australia one of the biggest insect threats is mosquitoes because they can carry and spread life-threatening diseases such as Murray Valley encephalitis virus, Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus, Zika, Malaria and Dengue virus.
While most of us consider mosquitoes nothing more than a nuisance at our barbeques, they are actually more deadly to humans than snakes, sharks or any other creature, claiming more human lives each year.
Recently ABC-7 warned of a potential flesh-eating disease carrying mosquito, and while there haven’t been any cases reported in Australia, this is just one of the many horrifying diseases carried by mosquitoes. (Source: https://www.abc-7.com/story/40756753/mosquitoes-are-carrying-a-flesheating-disease-in-australia-should-you-worry )
These potentially life-threatening diseases are passed on to people through the bite of certain female mosquitoes. Mosquito populations thrive during heavy rainfall which is why tropical and semi-tropical regions are most at risk– warm and wet conditions are ideal for mosquitoes to breed.
While in most cases mosquito-borne viruses can make people ill, in severe cases they can be fatal and in the very least they are itchy and annoying. Given the health risks, avoiding mosquito bites is crucial and in Australia, protecting your home from swarms of mosquitoes is important, particularly during the warmer months of year from Spring (August/September) onwards until winter.
As the record number of heatwaves experienced last summer can attest to, climate change is causing temperatures to rise. Many parts of Australia such as Queensland can expect a rise in temperatures and rainfall, which will also mean a rise in mosquitoes. Homeowners need to be pro-active in the protection of their families by safe-guarding their homes from insect invasions.
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said climate change is the ‘single most important issue of our time’, citing vector-borne diseases (including mosquito-borne diseases) as a key climate health risk (See https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/queensland-has-the-most-to-lose-from-climate-chang ).
Here are some tips for avoiding mosquito bites:
- Wear long, loose-fitting clothing particularly at dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Cover any exposed areas of skin with a good mosquito repellent.
- Insecticide candles or mosquito coils can help keep insects at bay when outdoors or in smaller areas.
- Protect your home by preventing it from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Have all doors, windows, vents and chimneys fitted with Insect Screens.
Protecting Your Home from Mosquitoes
After the long haul of Winter, you may welcome the idea of warm, balmy evenings that Australia’s hot, humid summers bring but in reality insects are also out during these conditions. Installing insect screens will ensure your family is protected throughout the year and also allows you to enjoy the warmth of summer without the hassle of mosquito-bites and insect stings.
Here are some ways to protect your Australian home from mosquitoes:
Clean your yard.
Many Australians are unwittingly allowing their homes to become mosquito breeding grounds by allowing stagnant water to collect, for example in unused pots, tyres and other voids.
Ensure wheelbarrows, boats, trailers, tools and children’s toys aren’t accumulating rain water.
Fix Leaking Taps.
Don’t allow water to pool under leaky taps as this can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Also ensure gutters and drains are clean so water can run freely and not stand stagnant.
Change Pet’s Water Daily.
Change the water in your pet’s drinking bowls, as well as in bird baths regularly, especially in very warm weather.
Ensure swimming pools are well maintained.
If not in use, ensure swimming pools are empty or covered. Fish ponds should also be maintained as should water tanks. Water collection containers should be securely shut.
Keep Windows, Doors and All Openings Securely Covered with Retractable Insect Screens.
One of the most effective ways to protect your home is to have your large doors openings covered with retractable fly screens such as Intelliscreens – an affordable, practical and high quality product that complements a home’s design and allows for unobstructed views.
This is not only effective in keeping insects out of the home, but it will allow you to keep your home cool as you leave your sliding, stacker, or French doors open to allow natural ventilation. Without retractable screens leaving doors open is a sure way to invite mosquitoes into the home. With retractable screens you get to enjoy the open feeling of your indoor/outdoor areas, without allowing mossies and flies to come into your home.
Insect screens are also better for your family’s health than chemical-laden insect repellents and sprays and is also eco-friendly.
It is suggested that windows, doors, vents, chimneys and even patio areas are screened to ensure maximum protection from potential mosquito-borne disease threats.
Leaving doors and windows opened, allowing natural ventilation can potentially reduce your energy bills as you switch off the air-conditioner. This natural flow of fresh air can also help prevent dampness and mould growth around the home.
Protecting your Australian home from mosquito-borne viruses by having fly screens installed is a wise investment, allowing you and your family to enjoy your home throughout the year without the threat of insects and the diseases they carry.