The South Burnett Council is working to eradicate the Aedes aegypti population from Wondai.
The South Burnett Council is working to eradicate the Aedes aegypti population from Wondai.

Have you seen this mosquito?

SINCE 2013 the South Burnett Regional Council has been monitoring and trying to eradicate a small population of the Aedes aegypti mosquito living in the Wondai area.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is a common carrier for diseases like yellow fever, dengue fever and the Zika virus and is registered as a mosquito of public health significance by the Australian Department of Health.

While most blood-feeding mosquitoes have the ability to carry and spread these diseases the Aedes aegypti is particular effective because it is a sporadic feeder.

Instead of settling on one person or animal and sucking a full stomach of blood it will move from person to person taking a small amount from each before moving on to lay its eggs.

They prefer to breed in small pools of stagnant water, like clogged drains, pot plant trays and vases, and tend to live inside.

Importantly they are day-time feeders.

Megan Nilon is the council's environmental health officer and she is tasked with eradicating the pest.

She said there was a lot people could do to help.

"Every five to seven days you should change the water in your pots and actually wipe out with a cloth your pot plant bases because the eggs are laid attached to the pot plant base and as the water comes up they hatch,” Ms Nilon said.

"The thing with mosquitoes is they very good breeders because they've been here since prehistoric times. Their eggs are desiccated, that means they lay their eggs, they dry out, water is added and they hatch.”

The eggs can lay dormant for months and they can hatch in waves.

The bugs are widespread, they are found on most continents and at one point were common as far south as Sydney.

As more people installed flyscreens in their homes, used bug spray and insect replants, built sewage systems and had greater awareness of the mosquito's breeding habits their numbers reduced drastically.

Now their main concentration is in far north Queensland.

"It has been here before,” Ms Nilon said.

Despite the potential danger presented by the bugs Ms Nilon said the population in Wondai was very small and they are yet to have any cases of those more nasty illnesses.

"We, luckily, don't have a problem like we have in Cairns where it's everywhere and it would be very hard to eradicate,” she said.

"We are looking at reducing the population to a point where we don't find them any more.”

If you live near Wondai and notice mosquitoes sporadically biting you during the day contact the South Burnett Regional Council on 41899100.