During summer months, we are likely to spend more time outdoors. Whether you are planning a barbeque with friends, spending time in the pool or having a lazy afternoon by the river, it is important to protect yourself from disease-carrying mosquitoes.
Many mosquitoes are at their biting best around dusk and dawn, although you can get bitten any time of the day or night. Always remember to consider your personal protection as well as mosquito proofing your house for the summer months to stop mosquitoes biting you and your family.
Here are some helpful tips and tricks for avoiding mosquito bites:
Did you know that mosquitoes can bite through tight fitting clothing? The best clothing to wear is loose fitting and long sleeved, linen and cotton are great materials to consider.
The best insect repellents contain up to 10% DEET or picaridin. Apply the repellent liberally directly to the skin and spread evenly with your hands, sparingly applied repellent will not be as effective. Check the instructions on your repellent for specific application details.
Repellent is not recommend for children under the age of 12 months, so the best approach to avoid mosquito bites is to stay indoors when possible. When outdoors, use pram netting and dress them in long sleeved clothing with shoes and socks. For children over 12 months apply repellent to all of their exposed skin by applying to your own hands first and then spreading evenly.
Mosquitoes in Western Australia can transmit Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses most commonly. If you are travelling north, Kunjin and Murray Valley encephalitis can also be transmitted but not as commonly. There is no vaccine or cure for mosquito-borne diseases, so the one way we can protect ourselves is to avoid being bitten. If you are concerned that you or your family has contracted any of these viruses please seek medical advice.
|Problem Areas||Tips for Reducing Mosquito Breeding|
|Pot plant drip trays, bird baths, pet’s water bowls||Empty and clean thoroughly weekly|
|Gutters||Clean out any debris that may cause water pooling|
|Dirty and stagnant swimming pools||Properly maintain swimming pool chemical levels and clean out debris often.|
|Wading pools||Empty daily and refill when required|
|Garden ponds||Put fish, such as goldfish and koi, in your garden ponds to eat mosquito larvae and ensure the edges of the pond are free of vegetation|
|Rainwater and septic tank openings||Cover rainwater and septic tank openings with mosquito proof mesh|
Lodge an online request now.
Rats are a major risk to the health of the community. They can assist in the transmission of a number of diseases.
Signs of Rat Activity
- Droppings (12mm to 18mm long)
- Debris such as snail shells with the sides eaten out, almond shells, cape lilac berries, chop bones, etc. left in the corners of sheds, under homes and other secluded spots
- Signs of fruit and vegetables having been eaten
- Greasy rub marks along paths they travel
- Burrow holes around buildings
- Signs of gnawing damage
- Pet dogs, cats, birds being more excitable than usual
- Squeaking, gnawing or movement noises in walls, cupboard and ceilings and under floors
Rats can be discouraged and controlled by denying them food and shelter. A few simple precautions will prevent or help get rid of them:
- Store firewood away from the sides of sheds and fences and keep it well clear of the ground
- Regularly remove or limit garden waste or other disused material in sheds or aroundyour yard
- Remove fruit and nuts from trees or vines at the end of the season
- Block holes and other potential access points around all buildings
- Keep pet food dishes clean and store bulk pet food supplies in a manner which denies access to rats
- Rubbish bins and compost containers should be well maintained and free from holes
- Meat scraps must never be composted
- Thoroughly examine your property to ensure you have discouraged rats from making your home their home
Getting Rid of Rats
Poison baits are the most successful way of destroying rats. Many brands are available in retail shops. It is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and check baits regularly to ensure they are not accessible to children or pets and to see whether rats have been eating them.
The old-fashioned spring ‘back break’ trap is still the best trap for home use. However there is now available a plastic capture box which may also be used. Try different types of bait such as bacon, fish, nuts, peanut butter, apple, pumpkin seed or sausage. The City of Melville provides a limited amount of free rat bait to residents to assist with the destruction of rodents. You can obtain free sachets of rat bait from reception at the Civic Centre.
For more information on rats download the Facts on Rats Environmental Health Guide.
Lodge an online request now.
Bees or Wasps
If you are experiencing difficulties with bees being kept on a neighbours property the Environmental Health team may be able to help. The City of Melville restricts the keeping of bees in residential areas through our local laws. These prevent anyone keeping hives on a lot without the permission of the Council.
Anyone keeping bees must also ensure:
- an adequate and permanent supply of water is provided on the lot within 10 metres of the hives
- the hive is;
- kept outside, and at least 10 metres from, any building other than a fence
- kept at least 10 metres from any footpath, street, private street or public place
- kept at least 5 metres from the boundary of the lot
- enclosed on all sides by a fence, wall or other enclosure
If the hive is causing a nuisance to neighbours then the Council may require the relocation or removal of the hive.
Lodge an online request.
On Council Property
If the bees or wasps are on City of Melville parks, reserves or verges, contact customer service or lodge an online request.
For bees or wasps in a Telstra Box contact Telstra on 13 22 03, for bees or wasps in an underground power box contact Western Power on 13 13 51.