THE BIG WET BRINGS ON MOSQUITOES – PEST MANAGERS CAN HELP REDUCE THE INCIDENCE OF ROSS RIVER AND BARMAH FOREST VIRUSES
South-east Queensland and northern NSW had more than double the average number of cases of Ross River Virus in 2015.
Now south-eastern Australia has had massive rains over winter and, as the temperatures rise, the insects are out and about – including mosquitoes capable of transmitting viruses.
Geelong and seven central Victorian Councils have started treating mosquito breeding sites a month earlier than normal. Most commonly, Councils are limited to treatments to control larvae using Vectobac (a bacterial insecticide) or methoprene (an insect growth regulator). These products have minimal impact on other animals in the environment into which they are applied.
With few exceptions, Council treatments are limited to government land. Exceptions may include emergencies and private land in wetland areas.
When asked about treating mosquitoes, many pest controllers have previously told potential customers that mosquito management is a Council responsibility. This is not correct. Private property and government buildings such as hospitals, schools and offices are generally not able to be treated by Councils. The pest management industry has been missing out on providing many customers with services to manage mosquito and midge that can provide great relief. Effective mosquito management may also protect your customers from the debilitating Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses.
The first target of any mosquito program should be treatment of breeding sites. Where this is not possible treatment should be aimed at where mosquitoes harbour – cool, shaded areas.
Just over ten years ago Garrards participated in trial work to determine the best method of treating adult mosquitoes and midge around homes and in parks. The information gained from that work has been provided to the industry through training by the Mosquito Control Association of Australia training courses, various Garrards Pest Review articles and Roadshow presentations.
Recognising the need to provide more information for pest managers to treat mosquito and midge, Garrards started compiling a Vector Control Catalogue in early 2015. The catalogue became available in early 2016. The Garrards Roadshow topic for 2016 was chosen to be based on mosquitoes in support of the Catalogue. All of this pre-dated the press interest in Zika virus impact in Brazil. The Roadshow presentation was written up in the most recent Garrards Pest Review.
Garrards information to the industry has been strongly supported by many state public health authorities, some with a big ‘thank you’ for highlighting the role of the pest manager in mosquito management to the industry.
EXPECTATION OF CURRENT SOUTH-EAST AUSTRALIA SITUATION
Mosquitoes are more than annoying, they have the potential of spreading diseases. The last big wet season in south-eastern Australia was in 2010.
In 2010-2011 there was a massive increase in Ross River Virus and Barmah Forest Virus cases notified.
*2000-2015 heading - excludes 2010 - 2011.
The Victorian monthly notifications for Ross River Virus (RRV) and Barmah Forest Virus (BFV) from 2010-2011 are listed below.
The current expectation – in the six months from November 2016 to May 2017 there will be a massive increase in cases of Ross River Virus and Barmah Forest Virus in south-eastern Australia.
(It takes up to a month from bite to notification on the web site.)
What can you do? Read the information in the Garrards Vector Control Catalogue and the Garrards Pest Review articles available on the web site.
Check out the information at garrards.com.au at the link provided below. Request a Garrards Vector Control Catalogue from your local Garrards branch.
Inform your customers: at the job or by email – give them information and recommend they take precautions to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.
Offer to treat any stagnant water on their premises. Recommend they inspect water features, saucers under pots and other standing water for mozzie wrigglers.
Tell them you can treat where mosquitoes harbour – it will give up to six weeks reduction of mosquitoes on the property – and it will work better if their neighbours do it also.
NOTE: This work MUST be done properly to be effective. Ensure you have the required equipment and use the right products. Please carefully read the information provided on the Garrards web site.
Pest Managers that have effectively controlled mosquitoes in harbourages have reported that customers want them back next year for the mozzie control – and to do the other pests while they are there.
They also encouraged their friends to get the mosquito treatment at their places. Mosquito work done well this year will bring you, and your customers, great rewards.
Web Information Links:
Victorian State Government Website
Victoria’s Hub For Health Services & Business
Victorian State Government Website