Have you noticed more mosquitoes this year?

This year you may have noticed more mosquitoes (mozzies) around Monash and throughout Melbourne. The heavy rains in southeast Australia are likely to be a big factor in the increased breeding and activity of mosquitos.

All mosquitoes require water to lay their eggs in. Many mosquitos prefer still, standing water to lay eggs, and the recent rain and flooding have produced a lot more standing water.

Most mosquito species develop quickly in warmer conditions, so the combination of heavy rains and increasing temperatures as we approach summer provides mozzies with the ideal conditions for their populations to boom.

Types of mosquitoes

There are more than 300 mosquito species in Australia!! The most common species to cause us problems are the backyard, container breeding mosquitoes. They can fly about 200m and only the female bites.

There are other insects who look like mosquitos, such as Crane flies who actually eat mosquitoes. Some ‘giant’ species of mosquitoes can reach over 12mm in size but they don’t bite humans – their larvae eat other mosquito larvae so they are actually helping the cause to reduce biting mosquito numbers.

How to control mosquitoes around your home

Whilst predominantly annoying to humans, some mosquitoes can carry diseases or cause severe skin infections. Such diseases and skin infections have been identified in areas throughout Victoria. Seek medical advice if mosquito bites inflame areas of skin around the site of the bite, swelling or redness appear to spread, or the area appears to be infected.

We can all play our part to reduce mosquito breeding conditions.  

Simple things you can do right now include:

  • Cleaning up your yard and removing anything water can collect in, such as unused pots, buckets, and tyres
  • Covering or overturning trailers, wheelbarrows, boats, tools and children’s playground toys to avoid water collection
  • Keeping gutters and drains clean so water runs freely
  • Mending leaking taps
  • Changing the water in pet drinking bowls, bird baths and vases at least once a week, and more regularly in very warm weather
  • Putting sand around the base of pot plants (to prevent water collecting)
  • Keeping swimming pools well maintained, or empty or securely covered if not in use
  • Keeping lawns and gardens well maintained to reduce areas where mosquitoes rest
  • Checking water tanks for gaps around lids, covers and inlet pipes. Fit a removable screen mesh to the outlet end of overflow pipes and to all water inlets if needed
  • Making sure any water collection containers have secure lids or screens
  • Consider planting strongly scented mozzie repelling plants such as Citronella, English lavender, Marigolds, Rosemary, Thyme and Basil near your external doors and outdoor dining areas.

Cleaning up your property will mean you are doing your part in keeping the mozzie population down.

How to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes

  • Avoid being outside at sunrise and sunset when human-biting species are most active
  • Use Ceiling or floor fans to reduce the chance of bites inside your home
  • Maintain flyscreens on windows, doors, chimney and vents
  • Wear long sleeved, loose shirts and long pants
  • Use mosquito repellent when outdoors and around mosquitoes
  • Consider using plug-in mosquito zappers, citronella candles, vaporisers in enclosed verandas, or mosquito coils in outdoor areas. These should be switched off or put out when not in use.

Encouraging other wildlife such as dragonflies, microbats and frogs will also help to get rid of mosquitos as they love to eat them!

Did you know some species of microbats can eat up to 500 mozzies in an hour, so they are worth encouraging to your garden. They are very little and cause no problems to humans. You can encourage microbats by putting up a microbat box on a tree and protecting your older tree if you are lucky to have one in your garden. Planting indigenous plant species and creating a pond will encourage dragonflies and frogs.

If you would like help in creating a garden that supports mozzie-eating wildlife, you can join our free Gardens for Wildlife program.

If you would like any further information on mosquitoes and health issues please consult the State government better health channel -