MOSQUITO LAB GOES
Totally Wild to see what we do!
We were excited to meet the Totally Wild team and showcase some of our important work within the Mosquito Control Lab.
Our chief mosquito-controller Associate Professor Greg Devine explained that mosquitoes are often given a bad wrap for spreading illness and disease. However, they are actually 'innocent vehicles' that carry viruses already within human or other animals' bloodstreams.
You might be surprised to know that older female mosquitoes are the ones that transmit these viruses. However, 'older' usually refers to a mosquito of about two weeks old!
The team also visited Downey Park in Herston, Queensland. Here our PhD Candidate, Amanda Murphy, catches mosquitoes living near bat colonies to see what viruses they are transmitting through the insects.
WATCH OUT THIS SPRING
If mosquitoes are a problem in your area, there are many ways you can protect yourself from bites this spring season:
- Use repellents. Products containing DEET, picardin or extract of lemon eucalyptus are the most effective mosquito repellents. Products containing at least 25% DEET or 10-20% picaridin will safeguard you for three to four hours, while products containing extract of lemon eucalyptus are effective for at least two hours.
- Wear long sleeves and long pants to minimise access to your skin.
- Avoid outdoor activities at dawn or dusk - mosquitoes are most active during these times of day.
- Burn mosquito coils and candles containing synthetic pyrethroid insecticides in outdoor areas. These offer some protection when you are at a close distance (within a few metres).
- Empty any containers of stagnant water around the house.
OUR MOSQUITO CONTROL LAB
We're passionate about the work we do in our Mosquito Control Lab. Did you know QIMR Berghofer is home to Australia’s largest insectary?
More than 1 million mosquitoes from 11 different species are housed in our Mosquito Control Laboratory each year, and we research many viruses including Ross River fever, dengue fever, malaria, Zika and chikungunya.
Visit our laboratory page to learn more about our team as well as our research projects and scientific findings.