KaFRA members recently asked us to find out more about the Kawana Forest Mosquito Control Program. We followed up with Council and below is the response we received 2 July 2018. We have asked some additional questions and I will post these details on our Facebook page as we find out more. https://www.facebook.com/KawanaForestResidents/
Kawana Forest is one of the few coastal areas on the Sunshine coast that isn’t heavily affected by the most common coastal mosquito, the saltmarsh mosquito. However the area is heavily affected by a variety of freshwater mosquito species that originate from the large area of remnant rainforest and floodplains that line the Mooloolah River to the north.
This area of rainforest and floodplain produces large populations of freshwater mosquitoes usually during the summer wet season from February to April. The mosquitoes breed in the pools of water that remain after heavy rain and the adults rest and shelter in the shady areas of natural vegetation. At dawn and dusk they move out of these forests into the residential areas to feed.
Effective mosquito control requires the timely application of environmentally friendly larvicides to the pools of water containing the juvenile mosquitoes. This must occur within a few days of the pools being filled by heavy rain. The mosquito breeding sites to the north of Kawana Forest are practically inaccessible. They are in dense rainforest and occur over a very wide area, perhaps in excess of 100 hectares. Council has trialled some spraying in this area in the past but it was not successful given the inability to access all the mosquito breeding sites in such a large area in a short period of time.
Kawana Forest is fairly unique in that it is the only residential area that immediately adjoins this remnant rainforest and floodplain. Unfortunately the visual amenity and recreational opportunities provided by this natural area are sometimes compromised by the naturally occurring mosquitoes and other insects and fauna that are present. When mosquito populations are high residents are advised to adopt personal protective measures to minimise the impact caused by these biting insects. These include the use of insect screening on windows and doors, avoiding exposure when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk and the use of protective clothing and insect repellents.
Council has continued to investigate mosquito control programs for areas such as Kawana Forest. A similar problem exists in the residential areas to the south of Mount Coolum. Council is planning on trialling a mosquito control program for that area next summer that uses helicopters to treat the casuarina forest breeding sites in that area prior to and following heavy rain. While this is a different mosquito breeding habitat to those found in your area, if the technique proves to be successful it may have some application to the Kawana Forest remnant rainforest and floodplain in the future. Council has been monitoring mosquito populations in Kawana Forest for over a decade via a mosquito trap that is located weekly at Bolwarra Place. The data from this trap will be instrumental in the development of any future mosquito control program in that area.
Hopefully a successful mosquito control program will become available in the future. In the meantime, when mosquito populations are high, residents will have to rely on those personal protective measures outlined above.