Spring heat waves that are associated to the imminent arrival of El Nino on the eastern coast of Australia do not mean you have to throw away the insect repellent bands that your children wear on their wrists. Early taste of summer does not necessarily equate to fewer annoying insects that can be bother some whenever you spend time outdoors.
Mosquitoes thrive in warm temperatures but they also need water to live. Mosquitoes lay their eggs around water and without water the life cycle will not be completed. The mosquito wrigglers that are hatched from the eggs spend at least a week swimming in water before they fly off in search of humans. Some mosquitoes require pristine water while others tolerate wetlands, filthy water or water-filled containers.
It is very likely that El Nino will bring drier and warmer conditions to Eastern Australia but while this is good news to those who hate mosquitoes, experts suggest that insect repellent bands should not be thrown just yet. Mosquito populations may remain low but it does not mean that they will disappear altogether.
Lack of rain will result into dry wetlands but in the coastal wetlands where there are mangroves, saltmarshes and sedgelands, the worst kind of mosquitoes can still be found. The saltmarsh mosquito or Aedesvigilax prefer wetlands that is regularly flooded during high tides. The eggs of this mosquito can survive long periods of dry conditions. They emerge from the wetlands in extraordinary numbers to spread disease-causing pathogens like the Ross River virus.
The shortage of water in the metropolitan regions of Australia during a dry summer increases the need to conserve and store water in the backyard. However, a home is created for mosquitoes in water-filled containers. The rainwater tank when not properly covered including open buckets can be the perfect ground for mosquitoes.
Children are usually the victim of mosquitoes because they love to play outdoors. The best protection against insect bites is insect repellent bands that is non-toxic and provides 40 hours relief. The bands can be worn by children who are 4 years old and above. However, make sure they are worn on the wrists and not on the ankles.