In NSW, some mosquitoes transmit viruses such as Japanese encephalitisRoss RiverBarmah Forest, Kunjin and Murray Valley encephalitis. It is highly recommended to take preventive measures to avoid being bitten.

Here are some ways to avoid mosquito bites:

1. Wear appropriate clothing
Wear loose and light-coloured clothing with long sleeves and pants when outside. You should also wear socks and shoes whenever possible. Clothing pre-treated with insecticides can provide additional protection. However, it is important to remember that repellent must still be applied to exposed skin.

2. Apply mosquito repellent to all areas of exposed skin
Use mosquito repellent with DEET, picaridin, or OLE on exposed skin after sunscreen. Avoid eyes, mouth, open wounds, or broken skin. Reapply after swimming or sweating. Check the product labels for age and other recommendations. 

3. Avoid peak risk times
In NSW, mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, and into the evening. Avoid being outdoors during these times or wear protective clothing and use mosquito repellent. When travelling overseas, be aware of the local mosquitoes that can transmit diseases. 

4. Reduce mosquito risk at home
To reduce the risk of mosquitoes breeding around your home follow these tips:

  • use insecticide sprays
  • install fly screens
  • clean your backyard clean
  • keep your lawns mowed
  • flush and wipe out water containers
  • fill pot plant bases with sand
  • store anything that can hold water indoors, if possible
  • flush out water-holding plants
  • keep drains and roof guttering clear. 
Properly cleaned and chlorinated swimming pools are rarely a mosquito breeding source, but neglected pools can be a haven for mosquitoes.

Aerosol insecticide sprays, mosquito coils (which are used outdoors), and insecticide vapour dispensing units (which are used indoors) can help to clear or repel mosquitoes. These products are not a substitute for other measures such as wearing appropriate clothing and applying mosquito repellents, but they can be used in addition to them. Devices that use light to attract and electrocute insects have not been proven to be effective in reducing mosquito populations and also tend to kill harmless insects. Use mosquito nets for infants when sleeping.


5. Reduce mosquito risk around the farm
If you live on a farm, we suggest you take extra precautions to reduce opportunities for mosquitoes to breed such as:

  • keeping dams and ground pools free of vegetation
  • checking dam walls and irrigation bays for leaks
  • being careful not to over-irrigate to avoid water collecting in low-lying areas for long periods
  • not allowing irrigation water to flow into and lie undisturbed in roadside table drains.

Taking care of mosquito bites

  • Most mosquito bites can be managed by washing the bite area with soap and water or by applying ice packs to reduce pain and swelling. Antihistamine creams may also relieve itching. Make sure you follow the directions on the product label
  • Avoid scratching the bite as it can break the skin and lead to a wound and/or infection. Symptoms of an infected bite include swelling, pain, redness and inflammation. If you think a bite is infected, visit a pharmacy for advice
  • If after a mosquito bite, you develop a rash, flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, headaches, joint or muscle pains (swelling or stiffness), fatigue, or you generally feel unwell, contact a doctor right away, or visit your nearest emergency department.

Further resources