Report an Insect or Vermin problemTo report an insect pests or vermin problem on Council managed land, please contact Council's Pest Management Program area on 02 6670 2400. Council does not control insect pests or vermin on private property. If you have a problem with insect pests or vermin please contact a licensed pest controller.
MosquitoesThe Tweed Shire area is home to many species of mosquitoes. As well as being a nuisance, some mosquito species spread human disease-causing pathogens such as Dengue fever, Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses, and Murray Valley encephalitis. They can also be a vector of dog heartworm.Some mosquito species that are capable of spreading these viruses breed in water-filled containers around your home such as buckets, old tyres, poorly-aligned roof gutters and pot plant holders. Don’t let your home be a haven for disease spreading mosquitoes.
What is Tweed Shire Council doing to assist in keeping mosquito numbers low?Tweed Shire Council has been actively involved in mosquito abatement since 1983, and undertakes larvae control programs in selected areas during warmer months. Additionally, Council has a formal agreement with Gold Coast City Council, Logan City and Redland Shire Councils to cooperate in mosquito research and information exchange aimed at reducing mosquito nuisance and disease risks in South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales.
Tweed Shire Council's PlanThe following mosquito related activities are carried out by Tweed Shire Council’s Pest Management Program Area.
For further information see the Mosquito Brochure (930kB PDF)
- Monitoring. Council monitors Mosquito species and abundance with CO2 light traps.
- Habitat reduction: Council has carried out some innovative forms of habitat modification to reduce the breeding potential of mosquitoes in semi-tidal saltmarsh habitat without the use of chemicals.
- Mosquito larvae control when extensive areas hatch mosquito larvae following heavy rain or higher than usual tides. Larger areas are treated by aircraft, whereas smaller areas are treated with on-ground works. Only Biological larvicides are used. These are:
- Bacillus theringiensis - Council uses a bacterial larvicide called Bti to spray mosquito breeding areas when warranted. This larvicide is specific to mosquitoes and several other closely related flies. Bti poses no harm to other aquatic non-target organisms.
- Methoprene – This chemical is an insect growth regulator with sustained release formulations to inhibit mosquito larvae from turning into adult mosquitoes.
What are they?Also known as ‘sand flies’, biting midges are small flies renowned for their nuisance biting. They tend to occur in areas such as coastal lagoons, estuaries, mangrove swamps and tidal flats. Only the female biting midge feeds blood. She does this to gain the protein she needs to develop her eggs. The ‘itchiness’ from her bite is due to allergens in midge saliva. Most people find the bites uncomfortable and distressing with the irritation leading to scratching and sometimes infected sores.
What can I do at home to stop biting midges?
If you live in a midge-prone area then:
- Increase air movement around the house by keeping lawns mowed and minimising low, dense vegetation as this reduces insect harbouring areas.
- Use smaller screen size on windows and doors or treat screens with a synthetic pyrethroid.
- Apply Synthetic pyrethroid barrier sprays, applied around vegetation and exterior walls may substantially reduce midge adult numbers around treated premises for many weeks.
When you are outside:
- Wear light long sleeve clothing when outdoors during midge activity periods to minimise exposure to these insects.
- Personal insect repellents applied as directed usually give several hours protection. Natural insect repellents are available for use by sensitive individuals or young children, and should be used by those working in natural environments or waterways.
What Is Tweed Shire Council doing about biting midge?Tweed Shire Council has been carrying out research and control work on biting midge since 1981. Including the following activities.
Treatments are timed to have the biggest impact on midge adult numbers for the least number of chemical applications.
- Midge monitoring biting midge larval numbers are monitored monthly at set points along canal estate beaches.
- Biting Midge larvae are controlled with a larvicide during the year, as required, along artificial beaches of the Shire’s canal developments.
Date of any schedule larval control activityNo Biting Midge larval control activities are currently scheduled.
For further information see the Biting Midges Brochure (1.42mB PDF)
Pandanus Plant Hopper
BackgroundOne of the north coast’s iconic plants, the coastal Pandanus tree (Pandanus tectorius), is under local threat from Dieback caused by a flatid insect known as the Pandanus planthopper (jamella australiae).Tweed Shire Councils Pest Managers are implementing and a control and monitoring program to help save Pandanus in the Tweed.
How to recognise Pandanus planthopper induced dieback
If you see a Pandanus with symptoms of dieback, contact Tweed Shire Council on 02 66 702400.
- Even healthy pandanus trees regularly have large amounts of dead leaf around the base of the leaf heads. However, when Pandanus planthoppers build up large populations in trees, the percentage of dead material is increased and leaf material in the centre of the head is likely to be affected.
- Leaf dieback often begins on the northern (warmer) side of the tree or in trees on the northern edge of tree clumps. Planthoppers and their cast skin casings can usually be seen between leaf sheaths and their egg cases found under leaves of infested trees.
- Black sooty mould, caused by the insect’s sugary secretions, can usually be seen on the leaves and trunks of badly infested trees.
Other ways you can help
- When planting Pandanus use locally grown stock and inspect plants carefully for any sign of infestation.
- If disposing of plants or plant parts that are infested, exercise extreme caution to prevent the spread of plant-hoppers to unaffected areas.
- Any infested plant leaves or parts should be sealed in bags and placed in a bin or mulched and composted.
Last Updated: 12 January 2017