Beat the Bite!


Due to the recent floods and heavy rain there has been an outbreak in Mosquitoes. Victoria’s ‘Beat the Bite’ public awareness campaign gives us some helpful tips to protect ourselves and our loved ones from getting bitten during these warmer months.

Generally mosquitos are out and about from dusk till dawn however some people can still get bitten during the day.

Protect yourself:

Wear loose fitting clothes when outdoors

  • Mosquitoes can bite through tight clothes
  • Make sure cuffs around ankles and wrists are tight.

Use effective mosquito repellents on exposed skin

  • Products containing picaridin or DEET are the most effective. The greater the strength, the longer the duration of protection.
  • Use repellents according to the product label, and reapply frequently, particularly after swimming, showering or heavy sweating.

Protect babies and small children:

Use mosquito repellents safely and follow the instructions on the product label.

  • Never allow young children to apply their own repellent.
  • Choose a lower strength repellent (no more than 20 per cent picaridin or DEET) and apply a thin, even layer as required.
  • Cover their skin as much as possible.
  • Dress them in loose fitting clothes.
  • Drape mosquito nets over prams, strollers and infant carriers, ensuring there are no gaps.

Mosquito Proof your holiday:

Ensure your accommodation is mosquito-proof

  • Check that your accommodation, including caravans, are fitted with well-maintained fly screens.
  • Use mosquito nets in tents and cabins. Don’t forget to pack repellent and long, loose clothing
  • Check you’ve packed plenty of mosquito repellent containing picaridin or DEET.
  • Take long, loose-fitting clothes for all the family, including the kids.
  • Take some mosquito coils or repellent candles – they can be effective in small outdoor areas.

Mosquito proof your house:

Try to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home

  • Maintain fly screens on windows, doors and vents.
  • Use ‘knockdown’ sprays, plug-in “zapper” vaporisers or mosquito coils.
  • Ceiling or floor fans can reduce mozzies.
  • Remember, try to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home in the first place!

Remove stagnant water so mosquitoes can’t breed

  • Remove disused pots and tyres.
  • Cover or overturn trailers, wheelbarrows, boats and tools.
  • Clean gutters and drains and mend leaking taps.
  • Change pet drinking bowls, bird baths and vase waters at least once a week.
  • Put sand around the base of pot plants.
  • Keep swimming pools well maintained or empty.
  • Keep fish ponds tidy with minimal vegetation.
  • Keep lawns and gardens trimmed back.

Check your rainwater tank or water storage devices.

  • Water tanks must be completely sealed. Check lids, covers and inlet pipes for any gaps.
  • Fit removable screen mesh to the outlet end of overflow pipes and to all inlets.
  • Make sure any water collection containers have secure lids or screens.

 

If you have any health concerns see your doctor or phone NURSE-ON-CALL 1300 60 60 24.

For more information visit www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au