Mosquitoes go hand in hand with enjoying the great outdoors, especially in the warmer months of summer and autumn. While there are more than 300 species of mosquitoes in Australia, two species in particular can pose health hazards to people in New South Wales: the Common Banded and Salt Marsh mosquitoes.


Common Banded Mosquito (Culex annulirostris)

Aedes vigilax saltmarsh mosquito

Salt Marsh Mosquito (Aedes vigilax)

These species are found in Kempsey Shire and can carry the arboviruses Ross River Fever and Barmah Forest Virus, which can make people ill. Even though these mosquito-borne diseases are not fatal, the symptoms can be debilitating and include tiredness, rash, fever, and sore and swollen joints.

How are arboviruses spread?

Female mosquitoes feed on people and animals. When they feed on the blood of an animal hosting an arbovirus such as a kangaroo or wallaby, they may become infected themselves and pass this on to people when they bite. Arboviruses cannot be spread from one person to another.

How can you protect yourself? 

  • Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours (dawn and dusk) to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Avoid mosquito hotspots such as wetlands.
  • Apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Check the label for reapplication times, and always reapply after swimming or exercise.
  • Wear long sleeves, pants, shoes and socks where possible to reduce skin exposure.
  • Reduce all water holding containers around the home where mosquitoes could breed.

What is Council doing?

Council works with NSW Health to test if mosquitoes in the area are carrying any arboviruses through the Mosquito Trapping Program.

The Mosquito Trapping Program is carried out yearly, and the 2021-22 program began in December 2021.

If there are any hits for arbovirus, NSW Health issues a public health alert and provides information about ways to prevent being exposed, such as avoiding mosquito hotspots and potential breeding sites. Council will assist NSW Health in sharing this information.

Ross River Fever was detected in the shire during the 2019-2020 trapping season.

You can view the weekly reports for the season by visiting NSW Arbovirus Surveillance and Mosquito Monitoring.

More information

You can learn more about mosquitoes, their behaviours and how to protect yourself on the NSW Health website.