Vegetation Barriers for Mosquito and Midge control
The summer months are peak season for mosquito and midge breeding activity in SE Queensland. New developments, parks and construction projects near mangrove and inter-tidal zones including estuaries and canals are prime habitat, with increased activity during wet weather and tidal influences.
Mosquito and midge cause significant nuisance, affecting lifestyle and indirect economic impacts. More significant are mosquito vectors for Ross River virus.
While Councils invest heavily in regulated control programs, there are also further integrated vegetation design options available to help increase the treatments.
The idea of an interception barrier is to’ intercept’ the midges on their flight path from their breeding sites to residential areas. Low growing and densely planted barriers are shown to be effective at gathering insects. This strategy integrated with barrier treatments such as the application of residual insecticide, would in many cases provide a more effective deterrent.
What might an interception barrier look like?
- Optimal plant sp will be native and endemic and planted tightly to represent a hedge. Optimal tree height is 2-3m with dense foliage from the ground up to 2m. A secondary combination of ground covers would be a useful barrier. Eg Lomandras and Syzigiums.
- Ensure that planted barriers are greater than 3m from waterways/ standing water, to ensure that residual insecticide can be applied in accordance with the label.
- Planted species to avoid are flowering trees, waxy surfaces or spines, because insecticides will be less effective or may cause environmental harm.
Lastly, while this will be a functional planting, consider any implications of environmental design such as CPTED, fauna interactions, public access and bio-divesity.