Mosquitoes: Many left itching to avoid the suckers this summer


If you’re quiet enough you’ll hear them buzzing around your backyard at night, from dusk to dark.

While recent rains were a blessing for drought-ravaged farmers further inland, for city-dwellers it has meant an onslaught of the pesky mozzie.

The unwanted creatures are now humming across the Hunter in vast numbers, with many repellent suppliers struggling to keep up with customer demand.

Every year it feels like the blood-sucking parasite has increased in number, yet no health authorities confirm or deny the theory.

From time to time the Hunter has these perfect conditions for them to breed in high numbers, the larvae ready to go, and water from recent rains, high tides and warmer temperatures forming an ideal nest.

During the warmer months mosquitos may only take a week to develop from egg to adult.

Adult mosquitoes generally only live for up to three weeks but during this time the female requires blood from an animal or human to assist the development of her eggs.

It is only the female mosquito that bites.

Protecting against bites is important in the generally limited seasonal onslaught.

Repellent, clothing and avoiding sunrise and sunset can be the most effective means of protection.

Mosquitoes need standing water to complete their life cycle.

Preventing them from coming inside your home by making sure doors and screens are in good condition, and checking your garden’s not providing areas where water can pool like tyres, pot plants, bins and bottles, can help.

And, while you slap, itch and winge, spare a thought for our four-legged friends who have been suffering in silence, despite them being as susceptible to bites as humans.

Heartworm and myxomatosis are two mosquito-transmitted diseases transmitted to pets – both can be deadly to pets.

Mosquitoes are directly responsible for more than 490 cases of heartworm in dogs in Australia since 2014, with the larvae of the worm carried by a mosquito from an infected dog to another dog where the parasite lodges into the arteries of the new host’s heart and grows to large lengths.

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