Northern Territory

Top End mosquito numbers to increase

The Department of Health is urging people to protect themselves from mosquitoes, as numbers are expected to increase in coastal areas following 2017’s high tide and recent rain. Numbers are expected to increase and remain elevated until the arrival of the monsoon.

Salt marsh mosquitoes generally start flying nine to ten days after tides or rain to hatch their eggs. They can fly in high numbers up to 10 km from their breeding sites, a lot further with favourable winds, and can survive for over two weeks.

The NT Department of Health has an extensive mosquito control program in the Darwin area. However, pest mosquito numbers can be expected in other areas close to brackish swamps and tidal creeks along the Top End coastline.

We are now in the high risk period for Ross River virus, and people need to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

To avoid being bitten Top Enders are advised to:

  • avoid locations near coastal swamps and mangrove areas
  • use mosquito-proof accommodation and camping facilities at night
  • wear light-coloured clothing with long sleeves, long trousers and socks, especially between dusk and dawn in areas where mosquito bites are likely
  • use a protective repellent containing 20 per cent DEET or Picaridin as a supplement to protective clothing, with creams providing best protection
  • use mosquito coils, mosquito lanterns, and barrier sprays in patio and outdoor areas near houses
  • ensure children and animals are adequately protected against mosquito bites.

A salt marsh mosquito pest calendar is available on the DoH website.

Source: NT Government