New Zealand is under threat from the unhealthy overseas relatives of our own mossies. They may all look alike to us, but there are over 200 different varieties in Australia alone. Fortunately, New Zealand only has about 15 varieties.
They are called exotic mosquitoes but that doesn't make them more interesting - just more of a nuisance. Many of them can carry dangerous diseases we don't have and don't want.
They can travel with us by air and sea, and our cooler climate doesn't always put them off staying.
Avoid Being Bitten
Mosquitoes are most active at dawn, around late afternoon and just after dusk.
- Put screens on doors and windows
- Use sprays indoors when mosquitoes are around
- Use mosquito coils
- Wear a repellent cream or spray
- Wear protective clothingUse screens on tents
- Avoid places where mossies are most active, such as swampy areas.
What is NZ doing to stop them arriving?
We have one of the best "fences" in the world to keep them out. Things entering our ports and airports are thoroughly checked - including water lying in such things as machinery or tyres. All aircraft from overseas are treated to kill insects.
No system is foolproof and we can do a lot to help stop mosquitoes from surviving if they do get here.
What you can do to stop them?
Make them feel unwelcome. The best way to get rid of them is to stop them from breeding. Getting rid of things that hold water is a simple way to do this.
Mosquito Control Checklist
- Get rid of all tins, jars, bottles, plastic bags or other items that can lie around and hold water.
- Get rid of all old tyres and drill holes in tyre swings.
- Fill or drain hollows in the ground that can hold water.
- Overturn boats, canoes and dinghies - in fact anything you have to store outside that could hold water.
- Cover venting pipes on septic tanks with mosquito-proof covers.
- Seal or cover rainwater tanks.
- Stock ponds with mosquito-eating fish such as native bullies - fish love mosquito larvae.
- Empty and clean pot plan saucers (even better fill them with sand).
- Empty and clean animal and pet drinking water containers.
- Check gutters and drains are clear of leaves and blockages.
- Some pot plants hold water in their leaves - empty once a week.
- Keep swimming pools well chlorinated and filtered and free of dead leaves.
- Empty paddling pools.