Mosquitoes are out in force in parts of Wellington Shire

With warm and humid conditions, mosquitoes are in plague proportions in many local areas.
With warm and humid conditions, mosquitoes are in plague proportions in many local areas.

WELLINGTON Shire Council is working on a plan to reduce mosquito breeding, with heavy rains and unseasonal humid conditions creating an ideal breeding environment for the tiny, blood-sucking insects.

The council has had reports of increased mosquito activity in most areas, with strong easterly winds bringing in mosquitos from the Gippsland Lakes.

A spokesperson said containers, roof spouts, and especially old tyres should be checked for breeding.

"The high numbers will exist for about 30 days or so, which is the life cycle of an adult mozzie," she said.

"Council is working to reduce breeding, however, consideration must be given to the increase in rainfall recently and the vast areas available for breeding.

"More hot weather will hopefully assist in knocking out adults."

On the Gippsland Times Facebook page, followers have described the mosquitoes as "the size of horses" and "jumbo jets", with many reporting their children being attacked by swarms at school.

One woman said her seven-year-old had 70 bites all over his legs and arms, and was "in tears" coming home from school on Tuesday.

"They seem to be super-aggressive ones this time around," she said.

Another reader reported walking her dogs two blocks Tuesday evening and arriving home "bleeding from the arms".

"Not only did they feast on me but my dogs were covered too.

"Maffra is swarming."

Residents and visitors are urged to continue to take personal protective measures by covering up, using insect repellent, and trying to avoid being outside at the peak mosquito times of dusk and dawn.

As part of the Wellington Shire Council's mosquito monitoring program, samples are sent to Melbourne so they can be tested for Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses.

The Department of Health and Human Services receives these results for its own tracking, also providing data to council.

This is done annually, and can provide important information on mosquito trends.

Monitoring in 2018 resulted in the discovery of a Queensland species that entered and remains in Victoria.