A manual for managing urban wetlands

Webb_Mangroves2The protection and rehabilitation of urban wetlands is critical. They are under threat from urbanisation and a changing climate climate but perhaps the greatest risk is disengagement from the community with many not really know the true value of our wetlands.

I have had a long and productive working relationship with the Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA). One of the most enjoyable activities has been serving as a member of the Wetlands Education and Training (WET) Program Advisory Panel. A small group of wetland scientists assist SOPA develop and coordinate workshops for scientists, managers, policy makers and teachers. The program has been in place since 2002 and over 30 workshops have been held since then. There have two very successful “managing mosquitoes” workshops in recent years with the next scheduled for 2015 (keep your eyes out for that one)

After ten years of working with a diverse range of professionals, it was decided that the collected wisdom of those groups and individuals should be brought together in the form of a resource for those managing urban wetlands. In particular, it would draw on many of the experiences within the wetland of Sydney Olympic Park.

WetlandsManualThe “WET eBook: Workbook for Managing Urban Wetlands in Australia” was launched on Thursday 28 November 2013 in conjunction with a two-day workshop on constructed wetlands management. The eBook was officially launched by Michael Knight, Chair of the Sydney Olympic Park Authority. Michael is well connected to the Sydney Olympics, serving as Minister for the Olympics between 1995 and 2001 in NSW, and it could be argued that, without the hosting of the 200 Olympics, many of the current wetlands around the area may not exist today.

I’ve contributed three chapters to the eBook. They can be downloaded individually but don’t just stick to the mozzies, there is lots more valuable information contained within the 400 or so pages. A wide range of topics, across broad topic areas of estuarine wetlands, freshwater wetlands, monitoring, developing a plan of management, are covered and a concluding section brings everything together. In fact, I was given the opportunity to be lead author on the final chapter, identifying and bringing together many of the challenges faced by urban wetlands and mapping out a way forward for wetland conservation.

My chapters and direct links to the individual PDFs are below.

Webb C.E. (2013) Managing mosquitoes in constructed freshwater wetlands. ‘Workbook for managing urban wetlands in Australia’ (Ed. S. Paul) 1st edn. (Sydney Olympic Park Authority) ISBN 978-0-9874020-0-4

Webb C.E. (2013) Managing mosquitoes in coastal wetlands. ‘Workbook for managing urban wetlands in Australia’ (Ed. S. Paul) 1st edn. (Sydney Olympic Park Authority) ISBN 978-0-9874020-0-4

Webb C.E. et al. (2013) Facing the challenges of managing urban wetlands in Australia: the way forward. ‘Workbook for managing urban wetlands in Australia’ (Ed. S. Paul) 1st edn. (Sydney Olympic Park Authority) ISBN 978-0-9874020-0-4

Do mosquito repellent wrist bands work?

wristbandIf you don’t know if commercial mosquito repellents work, how can authorities provide useful advice to the community? What about non-topical mosquito repellents? How do you help the community make informed decisions on how to choose and use mosquito repellents effectively?

I’ve written about mosquito repellents on a number of occasions. The most popular post on my blog has been one describing how we test new repellents. That post was promoted by the enormous support received by a crowdfunding campaign by the developers of the Kite “mosquito repellent” patch that raised over $550,000 back in August 2013. There is a steady stream of new repellents in the news, either newly published research on active ingredients or new approaches to formulations and delivery systems. What was most appealing with the Kite patch was that is wasn’t a topical formulation but a “spatial repellent”. All you needed to do was put a sticker on your shirt you’d be protected from biting mosquitoes. An effective non-topical mosquito repellent would be a great asset in our battle against mosquito-borne disease.

Much of the research I do with mosquito repellents is directed towards better informing local health authorities on what works and how it should be used. My development of guidelines on mosquito repellent use came from the paucity of information provided by local health authorities. Health authorities generally provide the right advice, just not with enough detail that allows the public to make informed choices on mosquito repellents and how they should be used.


Topical mosquito repellents are the most commonly used and widely distributed in Australia. These products, particularly those containing DEET or picaridin are most commonly recommended by health authorities

One of the most common questions I’m asked at public events is “do those mosquito repellent wrist bands and patches work?”

In 2010, I tested a product currently registered for use in Australia by the APVMA for use against mosquitoes. This was a plastic wrist band impregnated with peppermint oil. The results of the study were published in the 2011 volume of General and Applied Entomology. All papers in that volume are now freely available for download.

We tested the bands in laboratory conditions against the mosquito Aedes aegypti. This mosquito is one of the major vectors of dengue and yellow fever viruses internationally. It is also the most common species used in laboratory assessments of mosquito repellents due to its persistent biting behaviour and preference for humans.

The bands were tested to determine if any protection or repellency was provided against the mosquitoes compared to a DEET-based topical repellent. Although fewer mosquitoes landed on arms with the wrist bands compared to arms without wrist bands, there was no complete protection provided (as observed with DEET-based topical repellents). In fact, even on arms with wrist bands, beyond a small area around the band, the reduction in landing mosquitoes further up the arm was only marginally better than on arms without the wrist bands.

In short, while there was a reduction in total bites in close proximity to the bands, the bands we tested won’t prevent all bites. They won’t completely prevent bites on the arms wearing the bands and there is certainly no evidence that other parts of the body will be protected. They won’t create a “halo” of protection against mosquito bites around you.

There aren’t a lot of published studies investigating these “non-topical” repellents. There are a few “wrist band” and “patch” type devices available but all generally contain a botanical based active ingredient. In Australia, there are no DEET-based spatial repellents registered (to my knowledge). Studies from overseas have yielded mixed results. The level of protection (if any) provided is generally dose-related. For the most part, these devices have been demonstrated to assist in reducing the number of bites but not protecting you from all bites. Similarly, studies investigating the effectiveness of burning “mosquito sticks” demonstrate that while fewer bites are received, there is no complete protection provided.


A summer approaches, the local hardware stores boost their stocks of Christmas lights and mosquito repellents

The results prompt an interesting question for health authorities (as well as regulators of mosquito repellents). Is it good enough to simply reduce the number bites, do you really need to prevent all bites?

My personal feeling is that you need to prevent as many as possible. Transmission of mosquito-borne pathogens such as Ross River virus, dengue virus or West Nile virus isn’t dependent on the number of bites. A single mosquito bite is all it takes. It may be true that the more bites you receive, the more likely it is that one of those mozzies will be infected but what if it is the first bite of the day that infects you?

So, do these devices have any use? My advice is to go with a DEET-based topical repellent. However, in some cases there may be some benefit in using a repellent wrist band to protect the hands if you’re undertaking an activity where the topical application of repellent may be considered inappropriate (perhaps fishing?). You could even wear these devices around your ankles to prevent bites but if you’re in a region where dengue or Chikungunya viruses are active (see here and here), I’d always recommend a topical product.

So, in answer to that commonly asked question, “Do mosquito repellent wrist bands work?”, I’d say they may offer some very limited protection but they are an ineffective way to prevent mosquito bites compared to a DEET or picaridin based topical repellent.

Here is the abstract of our paper:

A wide range of insect repellent formulations, as well as active ingredients, are currently registered for use in Australia. While topical repellents are most common, there are also commercial products in the form of wristbands impregnated with botanical extracts that purport to repel mosquitoes. In laboratory tests, wristbands impregnated with peppermint oil were tested against the mosquito Aedes aegypti to determine their efficacy in repelling mosquitoes from the forearms of human volunteers compared with a commercial DEET-based topical repellent. The wristbands failed to stop landing by the mosquitoes, although the mean landing rate of mosquitoes was significantly lower on forearms in the presence of the wristband compared with untreated controls. The mean landing rate of mosquitoes on forearms treated with DEET was significantly lower than those of forearms in the presences of the wristband. The results indicated that while wristbands impregnated with botanical products may assist in repelling mosquitoes, their inability to completely protect individuals from mosquito bites suggests that they should not be recommended for use in areas of endemic or epidemic mosquito-borne disease.

The full paper [PDF] can be downloaded for free here:

Webb CE and Russell RC. (2011) Do wrist bands impregnated with botanical extracts assist in repelling mosquitoes? General and Applied Entomology 40:1-5. PDF

[UPDATE 25 February 2015] It is interesting to note that in the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission has charged a manufacturer of mosquito repellent wrist bands with “making deceptive, unsubstantiated claims” regarding the effectiveness of their product. It will be interesting to see how this decision impacts the availability of these products in North America.

Want to learn more about the amazing world of Australian mosquitoes? Check out “A Field Guide to Mosquitoes of Australia” out now through CSIRO Publishing. Over 200 pages containing a pictorial guide to almost 100 different mosquitoes along with tips on beating their bite and protecting your family from the health risks of mosquitoes. You can order online or through your favourite local bookstore or online retailer.

Read more at The Conversation: Are mosquito coils good or bad for our health?

Read more at The Conversation: What can I eat to stop mosquitoes biting me?

Read more at The Conversation: The best (and worst) ways to beat mosquito bites


Don’t let mozzie bites spoil your tropical “Schoolies” celebrations

With cheap international travel luring plenty of school leavers away from traditional “Schoolies” locations, concerns have been raised regarding a new set of health risks.

Traditionally, the Gold Coast in QLD was the main destination for “end of school” celebrations. Commonly known as “Schoolies”, these celebrations are generally portrayed in the media as pretty wild affairs. It is estimated that around 30,000 people will travel to the Gold Coast in 2013 (around 10,000 will celebrate an hour or so further south in Byron Bay). In recent years, there have also been discussions about alternatives to traditional “Schoolies” activities.

There are plenty of health concerns every year for those partying and this year, CSIRO has teamed up with local health authorities to create a tool to reduce the strain on hospitals. The software predicts how many patients will arrive at emergency, their medical needs and how many will be admitted or discharged. As the Brisbane Times reported:

The most common injuries among 17 to 19 year-olds are expected to include acute drunkenness from alcohol, grazes and cuts to feet, hands and heads, ankle and foot sprains, drug poisoning, asthma attacks, reaction to severe stress, lower abdominal pain and broken noses.  Intoxication is the single biggest reason schoolies turn up to hospitals or at medical tents for treatment, with the number of schoolies presenting for alcohol intoxication tripling between 2011 and 2012.

Lets hope that with a bit of help from some new technology, there is a downturn in injuries and hospitalisations this year. There has even been the suggestion that day-time naps could help prevent many injuries!

While the Gold Coast and Byron Bay continue to be popular destinations, cheap overseas holiday options in Bali are also attracting plenty of school leavers.

Don’t try to shake off that “Schoolies” hangover with a trip to McDonalds, try the local street food in Bali (Photo: Streetfood Blog)

Taking celebrations overseas

While there are many health risks associated with “Schoolies” celebrations across Australia, many are now looking to travel to Bali. Additional concerns are then thrown into the mix.

Health authorities have been issuing warnings about increased measles risks in Bali and encouraging travellers to ensure that they’re vaccinated. The Australian Government’s “Smart Traveller” website warns of measles, magic mushrooms and potentially poisoned drinks.

In addition, there are warnings on the risk of rabies and a range of mosquito-borne diseases (e.g. dengue, Chikunguya, Japanese encephalitis). In particular, there have been reports of surging dengue activity in Bali in recent years. Notwithstanding the risk to travellers, the burden of disease on local communities, particularly children, is significant.

Aedes aegypti (Photo: Stephen Doggett)

One of the key mosquitoes internationally that is responsible for the spread of dengue viruses, Aedes aegypti (Photo: Stephen Doggett)

From a mosquito perspective, the big difference between the Gold Coast and Bali is the presences of mosquitoes that can transmit dengue and Chikungunyna viruses. The risks are different, not only due to the activity of these pathogens but the mosquitoes display a different pattern of biting activity. They bite during the day as opposed to most “Aussie Mozzies” that bite in the late afternoon and evening. This has implications for the effectiveness of topical mosquito repellents against these mosquitoes/pathogens.

In the latest issue of the Broad Street Pump (Newsletter of the Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology & Marie Bashir Institute of Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity), I wrote a piece titled “Are we providing the right advice on personal protection measures against endemic and exotic mosquito-borne diseases?”. The thrust of the paper is that we should be providing specific advice on how to choose and use repellents in these dengue-receptive regions.

The most important issue is that topical repellents should be applied in the morning, and reapplied during the day, to provide protection from mosquito bites. It is equally important that travellers aren’t complacent about the risks of mosquitoes in urban areas. While the preventative measures against malaria (i.e prophylaxis and bed nets) are well know, I suspect that they are mostly associated with travel to rural and “jungle” locations. The problem is, dengue is a disease of urban areas. Perhaps Australian travelers are being complacent?

Rather than being associated with wetlands or rice paddies, the mosquitoes that spread dengue and Chikungunya viruses are closely associated with “man made” water holding containers. Pot plant saucers, discarded tyres, rainwater tanks, uncovered water drums and, probably most importantly, discarded containers ranging from takeaway food containers to bottles and cans.

It isn’t just the parties, the wonderful surf in Bali is surf to attract a few extra Australian travellers to “Schoolies” celebrations (Photo: Aquabumps)

Australia has seen a steady rise in travellers returning with dengue and chikungunya infections. Dengue infection in returning travelers is not uncommon. The majority of dengue infections have occurred in Indonesia. This increase in imported cases may also be a risk to trigger local epidemics in QLD.  Even the movement of infected mosquitoes on aircraft have caused suspected cases of “airport dengue” in NT and WA.

It is important to note that there are some regions in Australia where mosquitoes responsible for the spread of dengue viruses are present. In particular, Far North Queensland experiences annual activity of dengue with occasional small clusters of locally acquired cases. Local mosquitoes typically pick up the virus by biting an infected traveller and then, subsequently, spreading to local residents. There have been about 30 cases of locally acquired dengue in FNQ since the start of the year.

Across Australia, according to the statistics provided by Australian National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, we are currently on track to record the highest number of dengue and Chikungunya cases. As of 16 November 2013, there had been 1563 cases of dengue reported and 121 cases of Chikungunya. Compared to the number of cases of dengue, Chikungunya may not seem so bad, until you realise that the highest number of cases previously was only 63 in 2010. The reasons for this increase are probably due to increasing movement of Australian travellers to dengue endemic regions as well as increasing activity of dengue and Chikungunya at these destinations.

What do you do?

Firstly, you head off to Bali to have a great time and, as well as celebrating the end of school with your friends, get a chance to experience another culture (and possibly some good waves). As they say, be alert but not alarmed.

Here are three tips on protecting yourself against mosquito-borne disease:

1. Protect yourself against day-biting mosquitoes. Apply a repellent before breakfast.

2. Take repellent with you. Australian repellents must be registered with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority who test for efficacy and safety. You may not be able to get a hold of similar products overseas. Use a repellent that contains either diethyltoluamide or picaridin. These two products are most effective.

3. Apply the repellent like sunscreen, not perfume. An even coating on exposed skin is required. Don’t bother applying it to clothing or “spraying it around the room”, that won’t protect you from bites.

Don’t forget to check out Smart Traveller before heading off to Bali…or anywhere else for that matter. Consult your GP before traveling regarding the appropriateness of anti-malarial drugs. This is particularly the case if you’re traveling to rural areas in Indonesia or heading off to another tropical location for celebrations.

The photo at the top of this post was taken from the 2012 piece “Sex, drugs, cheap beer and ignorance – schoolies completely lose it in Bali

Will mozzies love a long hot Australian summer?

dry wetlandA week or so into Spring and the east coast of Australia was already battling bushfires and drought. It is unlikely to get much better with predictions of a hot and dry summer ahead. What does this mean for mozzies?

Every month, the Bureau of Meteorology produces a three month forecast of temperature and rainfall. We often look to these forecasts to predict the likely outlook for nuisance-biting and public health risks. In turn, these predictions can assist our monitoring and control programs conducted with local authorities.

Can you predict future mosquito populations?

While it is relatively straight forward to predict potential peaks in mosquito populations, it can be difficult to predict the magnitude of those abundance peaks. It is even harder to predict outbreaks of mosquito-borne disease caused by Ross River virus and other endemic pathogens, particularly across different ecological zones. One of the issues is that the key mosquito species involved in outbreaks can change from year to year depending on local conditions. Rainfall and tides can both potentially drive outbreaks of disease. They may drive the abundance of different species. Outbreaks typically occur when mosquito populations are large but large populations of mosquitoes don’t necessarily result in outbreaks of disease (probably because disease outbreaks are driven by local wildlife, not just weather).

Bushfires have already had an impact along the NSW coast this season. Photo: Neil Keene/Daily Telegraph

Is a hot and dry summer ahead?

We’ve had an unusually warm spring and as we move towards summer, Australia is going to remain hot (in fact, we’re heading towards the hottest calendar year on record). The chances of the November 2013 to January 2014 maximum and minimum temperatures exceeding our long-term median temperatures are greater than 60% over most of Australia. In some places 80%. From a mosquito perspective, it is often the minimum temperatures that drive activity. Even with unseasonably hot weather in late Autumn or early Spring around Sydney, we generally don’t see a response from mosquitoes so long as overnight temperatures remain cool. From the current outlook, it seems that our minimum daily temperatures will be relatively warm. This is good for most mosquitoes but may mean that many semi-permanent wetlands and other habitats may dry up.

The latest outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology is that November 2013 through until January 2014 will be hot! (Bureau of Meteorology)

Things don’t get much better with regard to rain. Throughout most of coastal Australia, there is a little less than a 50% chance of recording median rainfall. However, in some of the key areas of coastal mosquito activity, the north coast of NSW and SE QLD, there is less than a 40% chance of median rainfall.

The record rainfalls of a few years ago will be a distant memory this summer with forecasts of well below average rainfall (Bureau of Meteorology)

What does this mean for the summer mozzies?

For freshwater mosquitoes that rely on inundation of flood pains, wetlands and coastal swamp forests, the dry conditions are unlikely to be favourable. However, you may be surprised to learn that one of our most important pest mosquitoes actually prefers dry conditions over wet, why is that?

Mosquitoes are a diverse group of insects. There are dangers in generalising across species when discussing their response to environmental conditions (this makes predicting changes resulting from a changing climate difficult). While the majority of Australia’s mosquitoes are associated with freshwater habitats, one of the key pest mosquitoes is found in close association with coastal estuarine wetlands. One of Australia’s worst nuisance-biting and pathogen transmitting mozzies is the saltmarsh mosquito, Aedes vigilax.

The Saltmarsh Mosquito (Aedes vigilax) (Photo: Stephen Doggett)

The Saltmarsh Mosquito (Aedes vigilax) (Photo: Stephen Doggett)

Estuarine wetlands, particularly saltmarshes, can be harsh environments. They’re highly ephemeral and highly saline. Not many animals call them home. However, they are still ecologically important environments and some of our most threatened. They’re under pressure from urbanisation, mangrove invasion and sea level rise. To learn more about Australian saltmarshes, check out this wonderful publication, Australian Saltmarsh Ecology.

As harsh an environment as it is, Aedes vigilax has adapted to it perfectly. The mosquito lays dessication resistant eggs at the base of saltmarsh vegetation, particularly Sarcocornia quinqueflora and Sporobolus virginicus.Those eggs stay on the marsh for months (perhaps even years) waiting for the right conditions of temperature and inundation resulting from tides and/or rainfall. During summer, the immature stages of mosquitoes hatch and can emerge from the wetlands in about a week. A large percentage of the mosquitoes will lay a batch of autogenous (not requiring a blood meal) eggs. These guarantee the next generation. After that job is done, the mozzies head off looking for a blood meal. In their 1000s. They disperse over 5km from the wetlands.

It may seem counter intuitive but “wetter” summers actually produce less abundant saltmarsh mosquito populations. We’ve seen this over the past few summers that, under an influence of La Nina conditions that produced substantial rainfall, populations of saltmarsh mosquitoes were generally down. Similar results have recently been reported from Florida (where an ecologically similar mosquitoes, Aedes taeniorhynchus, is present). Why?

drymarshSaltmarsh mosquitoes thrive under hot and dry conditions for a number of reasons. Firstly, if pools and ponds on the saltmarsh regularly dry up, there are fewer opportunities for fish (and other predatory aquatic invertebrates) to establish populations. Secondly, if the saltmarsh remains inundated, mosquitoes are unable to lay their eggs in their preferred locations and will be forced to lay eggs higher in the marsh where they are less likely to be inundated by rain or tides.

The perfect conditions for these mosquitoes are created when we get below average summer rainfall. The wetlands are only inundated by the, generally monthly, spring tides. With the post-tidal flooding pools drying up within two weeks, mosquitoes can still complete development and lay eggs in preferred locations. Low rain = high mozzies!

floodedmarshAre mosquitoes and mosquito-borne disease risks another environmental hazard of the Australian landscape?Just as debate surrounds how urban planning can address bushfire risks to new developments, do authorities need to consider “hazard reduction” or “mosquito-aware urban design” strategies for mozzies? Not just where new residential developments encroach on existing wetlands but also the creation of mosquito habitats through the inclusion of constructed wetlands and other water conservation strategies.

Managing future mosquito risks associated with saltmarsh mosquitoes can be difficult. Urbanisation of our coastal regions, both on the east coast and west coast of Australia, has brought many more people into close contact with mosquitoes. In addition, as we try to right the wrongs of past environmental damage, the rehabilitation of wetlands may inadvertently increase the productivity of some wetlands.

What impact future climate change may have on saltmarsh mosquitoes is difficult to predict. In regions where hot dry summers become more frequent, mosquito populations may increase. However, if “wetter” summers are experienced, mosquito populations may actually be kept at moderate levels. Sea level rise may mean that a greater proportion of saltmarsh is more regularly inundated but that may actually adversely impact mosquitoes as it will promote the landward movement of mangroves, increase the duration of saltmarsh inundation and with a greater volume of tidal water entering the marsh, a greater chance of hungry fish being introduced.

It looks like a long, hot and dry summer will mean a boost in coastal mosquito populations but while there is still plenty of gaps to be filled in our knowledge of saltmarsh mosquitoes and their interactions with climatic and environmental conditions, at least we know there is an upside to all this mosquito activity….the bats won’t go hungry.

Entomology 2013: Science Impacting a Connected World

IMG_7511The annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America takes place this week in Austin, Texas. I’ll be presenting a “virtual poster” on the mosquito-borne disease risk factors associated with wetland rehabilitation, urban development and climate change.

I wish I could be there in Austin. I was luck enough to visit in February 2012 when I attended the annual meeting of the American Mosquito Control Association. It is a wonderful city and I hope to make it back someday soon.

IMG_5671Even though it will only be “virtual” attendance, I’m still excited about sharing my work at this meeting. It summarizes some of the my major research interests that revolve around the use of urban planning to assist the reduction in mosquito-borne disease. Particularly with regard to wetland rehabilitation and wildlife management. The use of planning instruments is important and just as authorities reconsider the approach to urban plannign in bushfire prone areas, perhaps authorities should consider approving new developments in areas where another hazard of the Australian environment is present…..mosquitoes. Some councils are already aware of the risks and attempting to manage those risks.

The Saltmarsh Mosquito (Aedes vigilax) (Photo: Stephen Doggett)

The Saltmarsh Mosquito (Aedes vigilax) (Photo: Stephen Doggett)

Although the option to discuss my poster with attendees via Skype isn’t available this time, I hope that there is a bit of interest via Twitter. Check out #EntSoc13

Here are the details of my poster:

Managing mosquito-borne disease risk in response to weather, wetlands and wildlife in coastal Australia

Cameron E Webb

Mosquito-borne disease management in Australia faces challenges on many fronts. Many gaps exist in our understanding of the drivers of mosquito-borne disease risk, particularly with regard to Ross River virus (RRV) that causes a potentially severe flu-like illness. Notwithstanding the environmental drivers of mosquito abundance, the role of interactions between mosquitoes and wildlife may play a role in disease outbreaks. Local authorities in coastal Australia responsible for the management of new residential developments and wetland rehabilitation projects are increasingly aware of strategies to reduce mosquito-borne disease risk. Mapping actual and potential mosquito habitats, with consideration to the environmental drivers of mosquito abundance, such as rainfall and tidal inundation of estuarine wetlands, can inform an assessment of nuisance-biting and public health risks. These assessments can further inform urban planning approvals and adaptive management of wetlands. “Mosquito risk zones” based on mosquito-specific dispersal ranges from local habitats, characterised by vegetation type and potential environmental drivers of mosquito abundance, are being used to guide the design of new residential developments. In conjunction with these developments, constructed wetlands and other water conservation approaches (e.g. rainwater tanks, stormwater infrastructure) are assessed with regard to the potential to produce pest mosquito populations. Site-strategies to reduce these risks are considered. The role of macropods in urban mosquito-borne disease outbreaks, particularly RRV, requires further investigation. The presence of macropods has been shown to increase the risk of mosquito-borne disease. Studies have shown that RRV is more likely to be isolated from local mosquitoes in regions where macropods are present. Therefore, the management of wildlife corridors between urban developments and wetlands may increase the public health risks. Environmentally sensitive mosquito control strategies may be required to reduce the risks where suitable mosquito habitats and wildlife occur close to residential developments.

If you’re at ‘Entomology 2013’, check out my poster on Saturday, November 9, 2013: 3:20 PM (Austin time) in Meeting Room 11 AB (Austin Convention Center).

You can also view the poster here.