Protect your home
You can reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by:
- Removing potential mosquito breeding sites. Some mosquitoes lay eggs in containers found around your home, so extra care needs to be taken to remove containers and rubbish from around your house.
- Keeping your lawns mowed.
- Killing adult mosquitoes with insect surface spray—occasionally spray in dark hiding places, such as under furniture, inside cupboards and behind curtains.
DIY spraying your home
You can spray your own home with long-acting household insect surface spray to control mosquitoes and other household pests such as cockroaches and spiders.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is of most concern in the transmission of Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. This mosquito likes to rest in dark areas indoors so you should use household surface sprays under furniture (e.g. beds, tables and sofas) and behind curtains.
These domestic surface sprays can be purchased in a local supermarket.
Watch an instructional video on DIY insect surface spray
Read the labels and check for the following information:
- Target insect—There are different products which are appropriate for either killing, or repelling different insects.
- Effectiveness—Insect surface sprays may last from 4 weeks to 3 months. You will need to know how often to re-spray to maintain the protection.
- Health warnings—warnings may apply to people with health issues, and to pets, including fish.
- Application—follow any specific directions provided by the manufacturer.
Take basic precautions when spraying:
- Avoid unnecessary exposure—if you don’t need to be in the room which is being sprayed go to another room or outside until the residue settles.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after spraying or touching surfaces that have recently been sprayed and are still damp.
- Do not spray over food and food preparation areas. Wipe food preparation areas clean after spraying indoors to avoid contaminating food.
- Do not return to your house until the chemical has dried, and open the windows upon return.
Take further precautions, in certain situations:
- Pregnancy—Household surface sprays are safe to use when pregnant, provided they are used in accordance with the directions on the label. If you have concerns, consider having someone else do the spraying for you.
- Respiratory issues—If you have a respiratory condition or sensitivity you should have someone else spray for you. Ideally, you should not remain in the house during the spraying.
- Children—Insect surface sprays should be stored away safely to prevent accidental swallowing.
- Pets—Remove pets (including fish in tanks) and their food and water bowls from areas that are to be sprayed and only return them once the spray has settled.
About insect surface sprays:
- Most household insect surface sprays available in Australia contain pyrethroids. Pyrethroids are synthetic chemicals that rapidly kill insects but are harmless to mammals, including humans, at low doses.
- Only use insect surface sprays that have been registered by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). They assess and approve insect surface sprays for retail sale within Australia.
Read more about APVMA registered products