Hordes of vicious mozzies descend on Toowoomba

IF YOU'VE been feeling the bite of some particularly vicious hordes of mosquitoes in Toowoomba lately, you're not alone.

You might be forgiven for thinking you had ended up by the riverside near the coast with the sheer numbers of large, striped mosquitoes that have attacked residents in parks, backyards and even inside homes over the past week or so.

In order to find out what was behind the unusual invasion, it was necessary to go further afield than the Toowoomba Regional Council's pest management team.

Brisbane City Council medical entomologist Mike Muller said the problem seemed to be a widespread one, with complaints coming from council areas across south-east Queensland at a recent pest control meeting.

Mr Muller said the culprit was known as aedes vittiger and tipping water out of pots and containers wasn't going to help.

Aedes Vittiger is an aggressive biter that will attack through clothing. Its eggs are drought resistant and generally found in grassland, not water.
Aedes Vittiger is an aggressive biter that will attack through clothing. Its eggs are drought resistant and generally found in grassland, not water.

"The name aedes vittiger interestingly comes from the Latin word that means 'bearing stripes' and they are called that because you can see four stripes on them," he said.

"They are known to be very vicious and will even bite you through your clothes.

"They have drought-resistant eggs that possibly could have been sitting there in the gardens for many months.

"These eggs then hatch in the hours after rain and a week from the hatch you can see a lot of them.

"These will be coming from grassy parks and reserves - they're not a container breeder, so there is not much we can do to about them as there is very little that can control them."

He said most mosquito control methods targeted larvae to avoid killing off other beneficial insects such as bees, but it was impossible to use that method on this breed.

He said people should dose up on repellent and the worst of the invasion would be over within a week or two.

He said a particularly memorable infestation was in Roma after flooding a few years ago, when Brisbane City Council officers ended up buying about $1000 worth of repellent to survive the assistance efforts.



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