Vector Management Plan
The Rockhampton Region has a temperate climate and is bounded by mountains, with rolling melon hole plains containing numerous low lying swamps and lagoons. The Fitzroy River, one of the largest river systems in the southern hemisphere, divides the city from the north and south with the barrage separating salt and fresh water. Following rain and tidal inundation these factors contribute to ideal breeding sites for many species of mosquitoes.
Council’s Vector Management Unit has programs(PDF, 6MB) in place to control mosquitoes throughout the year. Council officers involved in vector management are responsible for:
- Undertaking routine checks on urban and rural breeding sites
- Treating mosquito breeding sites where appropriate
- Misting of adult mosquitoes when deemed necessary
- Providing education to the public on other pests
- Administering and enforcing the Public Health Act 2005
Council also relies on residents to control mosquitoes around their homes.
Rural and Urban Mosquito Control Programs
Rural and urban saltmarsh and urban fresh water areas are monitored for mosquito larvae. Light trapping is used to monitor adult mosquitoes. When monitoring reveals an unacceptable larva or adult count, treatment is undertaken.
Larvae are treated with either Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) or S-methoprene. BTI and S-methoprene are both biological control agents. These products are extremely safe, environmentally-friendly, target mosquito larvae only and do not stay long in the environment.
Rural saltmarsh areas are treated with either aerial or ground-based applications. Treatments are usually undertaken after high tide events or sufficient rainfall.
Depending upon water sampling results, a proactive misting program may also be undertaken in urban areas.
Rockhampton Regional Council customers may request misting of their area if mosquitoes are deemed problematic. Misting involves the use of a synthetic pyrethroid which is registered for the control of mosquitoes in the community. Misting occurs from the back of a vehicle usually at dawn or dusk. Customers should note that misting should be undertaken only as a last resort, and with the following facts in mind:
- Synthetic pyrethroid is not discriminatory – it kills all insects with which it comes into contact, not just mosquitoes, and
- Misting is a very temporary treatment as it kills only the adult mosquitoes present on the day of misting.
Aedes aegypti Property Inspections
The mosquito Aedes aegypti is a vector for dengue fever. This species commonly breeds in artificial and natural containers. Examples of artificial containers would include pot plants, saucers and tyres; natural containers would include bromeliads, tree axils and discarded palm fronds.
Council’s Vector Management Unit regularly inspects properties in the region for the purpose of identifying Aedes aegypti and informing the public on how to control this species. If Aedes aegypti is identified on private property Council has the ability to instruct the property owner/tenant to undertake control. Although dengue fever has not been diagnosed in large numbers in Central Queensland, Aedes aegypti has been found in the Rockhampton Regional Council area.