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Offbeat Mosquito-eating fish deployed on Gold Coast amid 'plague' caused by record rain

13:30  17 february  2020
13:30  17 february  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

Calypso, believed to be Australia's oldest horse, dies on the Gold Coast aged 50

  Calypso, believed to be Australia's oldest horse, dies on the Gold Coast aged 50 "He was such a tough old boy," is how Jenny Dyson-Holland describes Calypso who died on the Gold Coast at the weekend, at the ripe old age of 50.Calypso was thought to be one of the oldest horses in Australia when he celebrated the milestone with a birthday party in the Tallebudgera Valley on the official horses' birthday, August 1, last year.

City of Gold Coast manages an ongoing program to control mosquitoes populations on the Gold Coast . Freshwater breeding after rain can cause problems on a localised basis. Small native fish are stocked in permanent water bodies to control mosquito breeding by more natural means.

To control mosquitoes on your property, you need to know how mosquitoes reproduce and then systematically destroy any potential breeding grounds near your home. When there are no good places to lay eggs, mosquitoes will be forced to look elsewhere, meaning you should see less of the insects

a close up of an animal: Gold Coast City Councillor Hermann Vorster says the number of mosquitos has reached © Provided by ABC NEWS Gold Coast City Councillor Hermann Vorster says the number of mosquitos has reached "plague proportions". (Supplied: Егор Камелев on Unsplash)

A Gold Coast Councillor says mosquitoes have "reached plague proportions" in the city, after recent record-breaking rainfall created ideal breeding conditions.

Lifestyle and Community Committee head Hermann Vorster said efforts to control breeding populations by spraying problem areas had been hampered by the wet conditions.

"It's something that we haven't had to grapple with as a city for a long while," he said.

"The ground has become so saturated that the low-lying bits of the city are now small inland puddles and lakes, creating awesome conditions for mosquitoes but terrible ones for residents.

Calypso, believed to be Australia's oldest horse, dies on the Gold Coast aged 50

  Calypso, believed to be Australia's oldest horse, dies on the Gold Coast aged 50 "He was such a tough old boy," is how Jenny Dyson-Holland describes Calypso who died on the Gold Coast at the weekend, at the ripe old age of 50.Calypso was thought to be one of the oldest horses in Australia when he celebrated the milestone with a birthday party in the Tallebudgera Valley on the official horses' birthday, August 1, last year.

An ordinary goldfish eats mosquito larvae, decimating the flying, biting, disease-carrying pests. Mosquitoes use standing water to breed, so ponds, fountains, rain barrels and water gardens can become pest nurseries. Mosquitoes go beyond being a nuisance, they may transmit serious diseases

The likelihood of being bitten by mosquitoes could be down to genes that control our body odour, a preliminary study in Plos One suggests. Researchers tested pairs of identical and non-identical twins to see how attractive they were to mosquitoes .

"Now we've got a city-wide problem."

Council has restarted spraying residential areas to kill adult mosquitoes after efforts were suspended during recent wet weather.

Tests reveal 'unconventional' mosquito population

Cr Vorster said council would target northern areas of the city, where most complaints were from.

"We're focusing on Helensvale and Coombabah, but we'll be working south [to] Mermaid Beach and heading west in the next few days," he said.

"We don't expect the problem to peak for another seven to 10 days due to the way mosquitoes breed — very quickly but they live very shortly."

But Cr Vorster said 60 per cent of mosquitoes captured as part of the council's testing and monitoring program were freshwater varieties.

Kayaker dead as Qld floods shut schools

  Kayaker dead as Qld floods shut schools A kayaker has been found dead while a woman is missing in the Gold Coast hinterland as Queensland continues to be hit by heavy rains.The 75-year-old man was reported missing on Wednesday after going onto the Mary River, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, on Sunday.

They attack fish , wild animals and pets. Their larvae are so ferocious they can eat small fish and tadpoles. And these massive mosquitoes are predicted to plague Florida this summer. The giant insects usually appear after significant rainstorms or floods.

The Gold Coast Seaway caters for entry-level through to extreme diving and provides easy access to the most diverse fish life in any Australian city Palm Beach Reef on the Gold Coast is a large reef with sections of rocky outcrops, and several large bommies with a variety of soft corals and sponges.

"We're dealing with mosquitoes breeding in unconventional locations rather than the traditional salt-marsh areas in the north where we'd normally expect our mosquitoes to come from," he said.

He said residents could also "rob mosquitoes of the opportunity to breed close to home" by emptying bird baths and removing water from underneath pot plants.

Residents with permanent water features such as fountains, ponds, or dams, can also request crimson-spotted rainbow fish, which eat mosquito larvae.

"One of the oddities of local government — we provide free fish," Cr Vorster said.

It will take fish and fog to kill mosquitoes, says expert

Emeritus Professor of Environment at Griffith University Patricia Dale said using fish to eat larvae along with other control measures could be effective.

"Fish will eat larvae, but if there are other things available they prefer them … so it's not a complete control, she said.

She said spraying salt marshes with larvae-cides to prevent adults from emerging was one method used, while councils also 'fogged' residential areas usually with machines on the back of trucks.

"That's a very fine particle that they spray into the air and it knocks down adult mosquitoes that are flying around," Professor Dale said.

"There's no evidence that it is [dangerous to humans].

"In many places fogging is the main treatment used, not in Australia, we tend to avoid fogging if we can."

But Professor Dale said mosquitoes could breed in just a couple of centimetres of water and new insecticides were needed to avoid resistance.

"One cattle poop has contained over 700 mosquito larvae," she said.

"That's 700 adults of whom around 50 per cent are female that will go and bite somebody."

The Sahara used to be full of fish .
The Sahara used to be full of fishBut during the Holocene, the Sahara was lush—and full of fish.

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