Be prepared — protect yourself against mosquitoes

While most of the time mosquitoes are just an annoyance, they can transmit serious diseases. Be prepared this summer and follow these simple tips to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Mosquito-borne diseases — the facts

  • You can only catch mosquito-borne diseases from the bite of an infected mosquito. You cannot catch them from an infected person or animal.
  • The best protection from mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid mosquito bites, by wearing repellents containing DEET or picaridin on exposed skin.
  • Mosquito-borne diseases typically occur around inland waterways and coastal regions (they require water to breed). Heavy rains and flooding can bring more mosquitoes.

Mosquito-proof your home

Try to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home

  • Maintain fly screens on windows, doors and vents.
  • Use ‘knockdown’ sprays, plug-in ‘zapper’ vaporisers or mosquito coils.
  • Ceiling or floor fans can reduce mozzies.

Remove stagnant water so mosquitoes can’t breed

  • Remove disused pots and tyres.
  • Cover or overturn trailers, wheelbarrows, boats and tools.
  • Clean gutters and drains and mend leaking taps.
  • Change pet drinking bowls, bird baths and vase waters at least once a week.
  • Put sand around the base of pot plants.
  • Keep swimming pools well maintained or empty.
  • Keep fish ponds tidy with minimal vegetation.
  • Keep lawns and gardens trimmed back.

Check your rainwater tank or water storage devices

  • Water tanks must be completely sealed. Check lids, covers and inlet pipes for any gaps.
  • Fit removable screen mesh to the outlet end of overflow pipes and to all inlets.
  • Make sure any water collection containers have secure lids or screens.

Protect yourself

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing when outdoors.
  • Mosquitoes can bite through tight-fitting clothes.
  • Make sure cuffs around ankles and wrists are firm.
  • Use effective mosquito repellents on exposed skin.
  • Products containing picaridin or DEET are the most effective. The greater the strength, the longer the duration of protection.
  • Use repellents according to the product label, and reapply frequently, particularly after swimming, showering or heavy sweating.

Remember: many mosquitoes bite at dusk and dawn but in some areas, mosquitoes will also bite during the day.

For further health tips and advice, visit

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