​Mosquito borne diseases can cause serious illness. In Australia, arboviruses such as Ross River, Barmah Forest, dengue and Murray Valley Encephalitis and Kunjin/West Nile are known to cause human disease. The best way to prevent these diseases is by protecting yourself and your family from mosquito bites.

Last updated: 27 March 2017

​How to avoid mosquito bites?

  • cover up as much as possible (light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing and covered footwear)
  • use mosquito repellents
  • use mosquito netting for children’s cribs, prams and strollers
  • prevent mosquito breeding around the home.

How to choose and use mosquito repellent?

Choosing a repellent

  • repellents containing DEET or Picaridin are most effective
  • repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or Para Menthane Diol (PMD) also provide adequate protection
  • higher concentrations provide longer protection
  • natural repellents such as citronella and eucalyptus provide very limited protection from mosquitoes.

Using a repellent

  • always follow the directions on the product label
  • apply a thin layer evenly to the exposed skin
  • duration of protection depends on concentration. Follow reapplication times suggested on the product label
  • reapply repellent after intense exercise, hot weather and after swimming. Sunscreen should always be applied before repellents
  • do not use repellent on infants aged 3 months or younger
  • do not allow young children to apply their own repellent. Avoid application to hands, eyes and mouth.

How to control mosquitoes around home?

  • prevent mosquito entry by using flyscreens on windows and doors. Screen chimneys, vents and other entrances
  • consider using surface spray in cool shady areas in and around the home where mosquitoes rest during day
  • clean up your backyard and remove all water-holding rubbish, including tires and containers where mosquitoes can breed
  • keep lawns mowed
  • keep gutters and drains clean so water runs freely
  • store anything that can hold water undercover or in a dry place, and keep bins covered
  • change pet drinking bowls, bird baths and vase waters at least once a week, and more regularly in very warm weather
  • cover or securely screen the openings of septic tanks and rainwater tanks
  • fill pot plant base with sand to avoid standing water
  • keep swimming pools well maintained or empty or securely cover them if not in use.

How to control mosquitoes inside the home?

  • maintain flyscreens on windows, doors, vents and chimneys
  • consider use of over the counter insecticide sprays against visible mosquitoes in your home
  • mosquito coils (used outdoors) and vaporising mats (used indoors) can help to repel mosquitoes from an area of interest.

How to avoid mosquitoes during travel or camping?

  • reside or sleep in screened or air conditioned rooms
  • use a bed net if you are sleeping outdoors or if the area is known for mosquitoes. Nets are most effective when they are treated with a pyrethroid insecticide, such as permethrin. Pre-treated bed nets can be purchased before travelling, or nets can be treated after purchase
  • avoid known areas of high mosquito-borne disease transmission or outbreaks.
Current as at: Monday 27 March 2017
Contact page owner: Environmental Health