Mosquito monitoring at Seaford Wetland commenced in early 2007
after concerns about the high abundance of mosquitoes had been
raised by local residents and schools. Not only are mosquitoes
a nuisance, but are troubling due to their ability to act as
vectors for disease. GHD was commissioned by Melbourne Water
to investigate the mosquito population at Seaford Wetlands in order
to guide mosquito management.
Three mosquito-borne diseases are considered
to be important by the Victorian Department of Health because of
the disabling and severe symptoms they can cause.
- Ross River Virus and Barmah
Forest Virus have similar symptoms that can vary in severity, but
include fever, nausea, polyarthritis, with some cases persisting
for months and years
- Murray Valley Encephalitis
symptoms are typically mild but can vary from mild fever and
dizziness to rare cases of severe brain dysfunction or death
Mosquitoes are also able to carry pathogens
that effect animals such as ‘dog heartworm’.
GHD has carried out extensive surveys of
Seaford Wetland for both mosquito adults and
larvae. Monitoring is conducted through spring and summer when
mosquito populations are normally greatest. If monitoring data
indicates populations are building up to potentially nuisance
causing levels, control strategies can be implemented.
Dip sampling is performed throughout the
wetland to find mosquito larvae and CO2 light traps are set
overnight to capture adult mosquitoes. Additionally, the
wetland is assessed for suitable habitat for mosquito breeding,
with basic water quality samples taken to provide information on
the conditions promoting high abundances.
GHD has been able to identify both the adult
and larva mosquito collected to species level to provide Melbourne
Water with an understanding of the potential risk of disease
Our company was commissioned by Melbourne Water to undertake
this mosquito monitoring program as a result of proven past
performance in delivering this program within budget and providing
in depth data and recommendations for the management of mosquito
populations in urban wetlands of Melbourne.
GHD has also monitored other wetlands for Melbourne Water
investigating the abundance of mosquitoes as well as conducting
prompt surveys in response to complaints from residential areas
along creeks and other water bodies.
The information on mosquito species and abundance provides
important information to minimize the risks to human health from
diseases carried by mosquitoes. The data collected from this
monitoring is assisting Melbourne Water in their objective of
identifying tolerances to environmental variables among a suite of
mosquito species and furthermore will assist in the management of
mosquitoes and the timing of control actions.
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