Easy steps may also help Beat Chunk

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The Surf Coast Shire Council continues its proactive mosquito monitoring and treatment program and encouraging people to protect themselves from bites.

Victoria’s Assistant Health Officer, Dr. Annaliese van Diemen, issued an updated mosquito and Ross River virus health warning for residents and visitors to the Surf Coast, Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula and northwest Victoria on December 24 to protect themselves from mosquitos.

The council’s treatment program targets known breeding areas, including the Torquay North and Breamlea areas and the Anglesea River.

“The council has worked with the City of Greater Geelong and DHHS on an improved monitoring and treatment program and our treatments may be effective in trapping larval mosquitoes,” said General Manager Environment and Planning Ransce Salan.

“But we need to reinforce the message that the best protection against diseases like the Ross River virus is not to be bitten.

“Simple steps can help beat the bite.”

People can protect themselves and their families from being bitten by:

  • Wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothing;

  • Cover arms, legs and feet;

  • Regular use of an effective insect repellent containing picaridin or DEET on all exposed skin areas; and

  • Trying to avoid outdoor activities when mosquito numbers are high, especially at dusk and dawn.

People can also prevent mosquitoes from multiplying in their homes by:

  • Regularly removing water in clogged gutters, bird baths, standing ponds, old tires, potted plant floors, buckets, and toys;

  • Make sure the openings to rainwater tanks are covered with mesh; and

  • Make sure swimming pools and fish ponds are well maintained.

The council’s treatment program uses the larvicides Bacillus thuringiensis isralensis (Bti) and s-methoprene, which are approved by the Australian mosquito management agency for pesticides and veterinary drugs.

The products only affect mosquito larvae. People, animals and the general environment are not affected.

Treatments at the Anglesea River are in pellet form and are applied to the water from the boat or from the bank.

People can learn more about bite prevention through Beat the Bite www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/campaigns/beat-the-bite

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