Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Cover up to beat the bite this holiday weekend

Victorians are being reminded to protect themselves from mosquito bites as we look to enjoy some mild autumn weather or go away to enjoy the great outdoors this long weekend.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Deborah Friedman said mosquitoes are still active at this time of year and are capable of transmitting a range of diseases, including Japanese Encephalitis virus and the more common Ross River virus.

If you’re going away or plan to spend time outdoors, don’t forget to pack the insect repellent.

Associate Professor Friedman said people can take simple steps to avoid bites and protect themselves and their family against mosquito-borne diseases.

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“Mosquitoes can be active throughout the day, but the peak period is often around the late afternoon and into the evening as well as around dawn and dusk,” she said.

“People should wear long, loose fitting clothes and use repellents containing picaridin or DEET on exposed skin.”

“Mosquito numbers can be reduced by getting rid of stagnant water around the home or campsites.”

Other handy hints are ensuring that insect screens fitted to doors and windows around the home or in caravans are in good condition, or insect flaps on tents are intact and closed.

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Heavy rainfall, floods, high tides and warm weather increase mosquito numbers, resulting in higher numbers of bites and potential infections.

Mosquitoes need stagnant water to breed, but they also prefer mild, calm and more humid air to fly and bite.

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Mosquitoes will breed in anything that can hold water, including old tyres, fish ponds, unmaintained swimming pools, unsealed water tanks and pot plant holders.

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