Lake Macquarie City Council has begun its annual mosquito-monitoring program and is urging residents to take precautions against mozzie bites to avoid the risk of contracting a mosquito-borne disease.

Council’s Coordinator Public Health and Environmental Management, Derek Poulton, said that despite current conditions not producing an abundance of mozzies right now, forecast summer rainfall and warm weather create perfect breeding conditions.

“We urge residents to take precautions against mosquito bites when outdoors in coming months, particularly during dawn and dusk,” Mr Poulton said.

“Locally, mosquito-borne diseases such as Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses are not fatal to humans, but they can cause persistent and debilitating symptoms such as joint aches, pains, fever chills, headache and sometimes a rash.

“Tips to help avoid mosquito bite include wearing loose, light-clothing with long sleeves and pants, using insect repellent on exposed skin, fitting screens on windows and doors and removing or emptying still water from around the house.”

Council’s annual monitoring program is conducted in partnership with NSW Health, with the live trapped mosquitoes sent to the Department of Medical Entomology for identification and to determine whether they are carriers of disease. Trapping will take place at Dora Creek, Teralba and Belmont.

For more information on mosquitoes, visit health.nsw.gov.au.