Types of mosquitoes in Australia (and how to repel them!)
Did you know there are more than 300 unique species of mosquitoes in Australia (and over 3,500 worldwide)? Thankfully for us, not all mosquitoes bite humans so only around 30 species are considered pests and are likely to transmit diseases here in Australia.
Which mosquitoes carry diseases in Australia?
The distribution of mosquito species varies greatly across Australia but a few of the most common mosquitoes that you need to be aware of include:
- Aedes aegypti
- Aedes bancroftianus
- Aedes camptorhynchus
- Aedes flavifrons
- Aedes funereus
- Aedes normanensis
- Aedes notoscriptus
- Aedes tremulus
- Aedes vigilax
These species of mosquito are known to be carriers and transmitters of viruses such as Ross River Virus, Dengue, Murray Valley Encephalitis, Barmah Forest Virus and West Nile Virus here in Australia. These are the species a good insect repellent should protect you from.
The University of Sydney has a great fact sheet detailing the different species of mosquitoes in Australia, where they are found and what diseases they can carry. You can view their mosquito information sheet here.
If you get bitten by a mosquito will you get a disease?
Not every mosquito is a carrier and transmitter of diseases. Additionally, there may be some mosquitoes that can carry diseases but not necessarily transmit them to humans. That means that you're not going to get a disease from every mosquito bite you get.
However, if a mosquito is carrying a disease and is an effective vector (able to transmit disease) for humans, it only takes one bite.
This means that it is important that you are always vigilant and try to avoid mosquito bites wherever possible, particularly in regions where there are active mosquito borne disease warnings.
How do you find out about mosquito borne disease warnings?
Each state and territory has their own health department website which will list any active mosquito borne disease warnings.
Additionally, these warnings are usually distributed to local media outlets, particularly the ABC, who will then publish alerts on their website, social media pages and in print.
In serious cases where new diseases arise, local health authorities will often perform door knocking efforts to notify locals, encourage removal of stagnant water sources and in some cases, treat the area for mosquitoes and their larvae. This happened early this year in Tennant Creek in the NT when the Aedes aegypti mosquito (which has not been permanently established in the NT since the mid-1950s) was discovered.
How can you protect yourself against mosquitoes in Australia?
There are a couple of general actions you can take to protect yourself against mosquitoes and reduce your risk of catching a mosquito-borne disease:
- Avoid going outside at dawn and dusk as this is when mozzies are most active
- Install fine mesh fly screens on the windows in your home - in tropical regions it's pretty tempting to have the windows open all year round to let the breeze in. Fly screens will allow you to do that safely
- Wear long sleeved, light coloured, loose clothing. This provides a physical barrier against the mosquitoes. Additionally, many appear to be drawn to dark colours.
- Apply a high-strength insect repellent to all of your exposed skin. Choose one that is APVMA approved and has been tested against known disease carrying mosquitoes, like Good Riddance!
Good Riddance has been clinically proven to protect against disease carrying species
For those who are tired of, or can't wear sticky, smelly DEET based repellents, Good Riddance provides a high level of protection against known disease-carrying species of mosquitoes. Click here to see a list of the best mosquito repellents in Australia.
Protect you and your family from annoying (and potentially dangerous!) bites today. Our range is available online or from hundreds of stockists around Australia.