Mosquito Control Program

The Greater Shepparton City Council’s mosquito control program began in 1974 after a state-wide outbreak of Murray Valley Encephalitis. The program is jointly funded by the Victorian Department of Health and now runs all year round.

Learn about Victoria's Mosquito Surveillance Program and the role of Greater Shepparton City Council's Mosquito Officer, Doug Cousins.

The Mosquito Monitor and Control Program assists in early detection and control of arboviruses by providing surveillance, mosquito control and development of a disease control plan.

What does our Mosquito Control Program do?

  • Adult mosquito trapping is conducted weekly at four permanent locations chosen to represent different environments within the municipality.  Mosquitoes caught in the traps are sent to the Department of Primary Industries in Attwood, Melbourne for identification. Data from this program provides valuable information on long term trends in mosquito populations and disease outbreak patterns. 
  • Council employs a Mosquito Monitor and Control Officer who provides advice and educational material about reducing mosquito breeding sites around your home and property.
  • Approximately 120 larval sites are regularly sampled for the presence of larvae. Larvae monitoring provides useful localised data on which mosquito species are present and their population levels.  Sites monitored include: drains, swamps, lagoons, ephemeral creeks and depressions.
  • We do not spray for adult mosquitoes; it is more efficient and safer for the environment if we control mosquito breeding during the more vulnerable larval and pupal stages.
  • Council is continually looking at site improvements and re-engineering of drains to reduce the incidence of mosquito breeding in Greater Shepparton.

Can Council spray our house yard for mosquitoes?

No, on private property the owner is responsible for insect control. What we can do is identify possible breeding sites on your property, provide advice on reducing mosquito breeding and how to protect yourself from mosquito bites. If you would like your property to be treated, you can contact a pest control contractor to discuss what barrier treatments are available. 

Can mosquitoes spread HIV/AIDS?

No, there are several reasons which help explain why:

  • Infected people do not have constantly high levels of HIV in their blood streams.
  • Insect mouth parts retain only very small amounts of blood on their surfaces. 
  • Scientists who study insects have determined that biting insects normally do not travel from one person to the next immediately after ingesting blood. Rather, they fly to a resting place to digest the blood meal.
  • HIV cannot survive long inside an insect.

Can you treat the bushland in our area?

We can assess council land and roadsides for suitable breeding sites, if a site is found to be a major source of nuisance mosquitoes it may be treated with a suitable larvicide. State Parks and Reserves are the responsibility of the controlling authority.

What chemicals does the control program use for mosquitoes?

Where possible we prefer not to use chemicals if other control methods or predators are effective. These methods may include draining, weed removal and natural predators such as Dragonfly larvae, Damsel and Mayfly larvae, fish and water beetles. 

Chemicals are only used during the vulnerable larval stage of the mosquitoes life-cycle. Our preferred chemical is a sustained release product for the prevention of adult mosquito emergence. The pellets will inhibit emergence for approximately one month from application without disrupting the relationship between larvae and their natural predators.

Personal Protection

  • Where possible avoid using aftershaves and perfumes as these attract mosquitoes.
  • Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours and are more active at dawn and dusk, so where possible wear light coloured, long loose clothing during these times.
  • Use a repellent which contains Picaridin or DEET (Diethyl-M-Toluamide), preferably in a cream or gel base.
  • Use ‘knockdown' sprays, coils and vaporising devices to kill or repel mosquitoes around the home.

Household hints

  • Clean up around your house; dispose of tins, tyres, bottles, buckets and other rubbish which may hold water, overturn boats to prevent pooling of water.
  • Keep drains and roof guttering free of leaves and debris.
  • Empty children's wading pools weekly.
  • Install and maintain fly-wire screens on all windows and doors.
  • Exclude mosquitoes from water tanks and septic systems by ensuring that they have close fitting tops, lids, covers and that all inlet and outlet pipes are screened.
  • Stock fish in garden ponds and operate water features regularly to inhibit mosquito breeding.
  • If your pond is not stocked with fish or water plants, a small amount of kerosene or paraffin oil poured onto the water surface will inhibit mosquito breeding.  *Note - Kerosene and paraffin oil may kill fish and plants.
  • Regularly change the water in vases, bird baths and pets bowls.
  • Place sand in pot-plant saucers to absorb excess water.
  • Chemical barrier treatments applied to exterior walls and eaves can reduce mosquito populations around the home.