SALES of insect repellent are up nearly 40 per cent on this time last year, as water and heavy rain bring an unprecedented flood of mosquitoes with them.
North Wagga Community Facebook group admin and resident Austin Gregor said minor flooding in the suburb had attracted the bloodsuckers earlier than other years.
“There is definitely more mosquitoes around and I think we know why,” he said.
“The other unpleasant side effect of all the water, particularly if you go to an area where there has been water there for a long time, you can smell that musty smell.”
Aussie Disposals owner David Harmer said tropical strength repellent had been flying off the shelves all week.
“Anything to do with mosquitoes, there has been a significant increase in sales,” he said.
“I had to order up extra stock to supply the demand … there would be a 30 to 40 per cent increase in sales compared to other years.”
Charles Sturt University entomologist Paul Weston said still bodies of water were the number one draw card for mosquitoes.
“Mosquitoes require standing water for breeding, that’s where the females lay their eggs,” he said.
“The surprising thing to me is that it is happening so early in the season when it is still fairly cool, but it is within their temperature limits.”
Dr Weston speculated it was possible that sightings of larger mosquitoes could be different species built to withstand a colder climate.
While mosquitoes could give humans Ross River or Barmah Forrest Virus, there was also risk to livestock and pets.
“There would certainly be issues with livestock, because things like Ross River Virus that can affect humans can also affect livestock like horses,” Dr Weston said.
“Heart worm is spread by mosquitoes, meaning people should make sure they keep their dogs up to date on heart worm treatments.”
Dr Weston said an increase in hot weather should see them evaporate.
“The mosquito problem should improve as things dry up, because without standing water to breed in you are just not going to have mosquitoes,” he said.