Mosquitoes provide a source of food for birds and bats as well as fish and frogs. Apart from being a nuisance to humans they can also transmit disease. The most common mosquito borne viruses on the Mid North Coast are Ross River and Barmah Forest. There are ways that you can protect yourself and minimise the chance of being bitten by following a few simple steps.
How to protect yourself
- When outside cover up as much as possible by wearing loose fitting, light coloured clothing and covered footwear.
- Avoid being outside when mosquitoes are most active, around dusk and dawn.
- Apply a topical insect repellent - choose any product that contains DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Apply an even coat over all exposed areas of skin.Use mosquito coils or other repellent devices when sitting outside.
Minimise mosquitoes at home
- Install insect screens on all windows and external doors.
- Check them regularly and mend any holes.
- Keep vegetation in yard well maintained and mow lawns regularly.Water in bird baths should be refreshed regularly.
- Empty any accumulated water and clean the base of pot plant holders weekly.
- Tip out, cover up, or throw away any containers lying around that collect water.Ensure gutters are kept free of leaves and drain freely.
- Keep swimming pools maintained.Screen all openings on water tanks, wells, and any other large water containers.
- Stock fishponds with native fish that will feed on mosquito eggs and larvae.
What we are doing
City of Coffs Harbour's Environmental Health Officers assist NSW Health in undertaking the annual NSW Arbovirus Surveillance and Vector Monitoring Program. This program monitors mosquito vector populations in coastal and inland areas of NSW.
Mosquito trapping is undertaken at 2 sites within the Coffs Harbour local government area. The trapping program is designed to cover the period of seasonal increase and decrease in mosquito populations of the major arboviruses vectors, from mid-spring to mid-autumn and also cover the period for natural activity and transmission of arboviruses.
The trapped mosquitoes are collected and sent off for processing which includes the identification of the major pest and vector species and monitoring of population fluctuations of the major species (especially Aedes vigilax for coastal sites).
View the weekly mosquito surveillance and monitoring reports including results for Coffs Harbour.
A number of organisations have a role to play in pest animal management in NSW. Local Land Services operates under the Local Land Services Act 2013 and participates in on-ground detection and control of vertebrate pests and plague locusts in NSW. This work includes giving advice on pest animal management techniques, assisting land managers to reduce the impacts of pests through the coordination of group control programs, conducting inspections for pest species and regulating compliance with the Local Land Services Act 2013.
Please contact Local Land Services on 1300 795 299 for advice on other pest animals in your area.
You can also report an unusual animal sighting to the NSW Government. If you become aware of unusual non-native animals in the wrong place, or illegal activities such as the movement, keeping, breeding and sale of animals listed as Prohibited Dealings under the Biosecurity Act 2015, report animal sightings to NSW DPI.
Feralscan.org.au is another place to record data and has apps to record pest animals when you see them, this data then gets uploaded in the State Government Pest Smart System.
The Indian Myna (also known as the Common Myna) was introduced into Australia in the late 1860s to control insects. It has since become a problem in urban and rural areas. Mynas have more recently invaded open forest areas on the coast of NSW, threatening native bird and hollow-dwelling animal populations by aggressively competing with native wildlife for nesting hollows.
Indian Mynas nest in tree hollows, or places like them, such as holes in roofs. Mynas sometimes destroy eggs and chicks. Indian Mynas are capable of evicting even large birds such as Kookaburras and Dollar Birds from their nests. They can also evict small mammals, like Sugar Gliders from hollows.
Sometimes groups of Mynas can aggressively mob other birds and mammals like possums.
City of Coffs Harbour is taking steps to control Mynas in the LGA and you can help by getting involved.
For further information contact Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare on 02) 6651 1308.
The fox was deliberately introduced into Australia in the 1860s and 1870s for hunting and quickly spread from its initial release point in southern Victoria to become established throughout much of Australia.
Foxes are a serious threat to biodiversity, preying on many species of small mammals, reptiles and ground-nesting birds and predation by foxes is listed as a Key Threatening Process.
Foxes can live in a wide variety of habitat types and there are records all through the Coffs Harbour area, including urban and built-up areas.
Since its introduction to Australia near Cairns in 1935, the cane toad has spread south and west across the continent and now occurs in Queensland, Northern Territory and New South Wales. On the North Coast of NSW the cane toad has spread as far south as the Clarence River/Yamba.
Cane toads continue to move south and climate change may hasten their spread.
In the Coffs Harbour LGA, cane toads have been recorded at several isolated sites including Halls Road, Coffs Harbour Fire Station, Park Beach, Korora and Corindi. In some of these areas, residents work with City of Coffs Harbour and NPWS to monitor toad sightings and populations.
Habitat degradation, preying on native species, competition and disease transmission by feral pigs is listed as a key threatening process. Feral pigs are a significant threat to native species and ecological communities as a result of their behaviour and feeding habits. Feral pig wallowing and rooting causes disturbance to habitats and can increase erosion and reduce water quality in streams and pools.
Habitat disturbance by pigs can then allow the invasion and spread of weeds. Pigs are known to have caused damage in many National Parks and other protected areas.
Feral Pigs can eat native birds, reptiles, (including their eggs), frogs and soil invertebrates such as earthworms as well as the underground storage organs of plants and the fruiting bodies of fungi. Feral Pigs are thought to have contributed to declines in populations of some frog species.
Pigs can compete with native fauna for food resources. This has been observed to be a problem in northern Australia with brolga and in other parts of Australia for small mammals which consume fungal fruiting bodies.
Cats were brought to Australia very early in colonial history and have since spread across the continent. They are one of the most serious threats to native birds, small mammals and small reptiles.
Cats are extremely adaptable and can survive in all habitats from rainforest to desert. Feral or roaming domestic cats can be found anywhere around Coffs Harbour.
Cat owners should keep their cats contained and especially at night. Domestic cats should wear bells and must be desexed and registered to prevent further breeding with wild cats. Predation on native fauna by feral cats is listed as a Key Threatening Process.
Record pest animal activity to protect, farms, biodiversity and the community at feralscan.org.au