Mosquito Monitoring – Seaford Wetlands, Victoria

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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 outbreak.   


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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