Sydney University Department of Medical Entomology Westmead Hospital
Investigations of Pest Mosquito Populations in the Homebush Bay area of Sydney, NSW.

Homebush Bay is located on the Parramatta River approximately 15kms from Sydney’s centralGreat mosquito breeding site! business district. Land use in the area has undergone significant changes in the last 100 years. The area where once there was an abattoir, brickworks, an armaments depot and large areas of landfill has now been replaced by residential sporting and recreational developments.

In addition to the development of Homebush Bay, local saline and freshwater wetlands are currently being remediated to provide enhanced habitat for international migratory birds, rare plants and an endangered species of frog. Extensive freshwater wetland areas will also be created for the treatment of stormwater and wastewater.

Concern has been raised as to the potential pest impacts from the 31 mosquito species known to exist in Homebush Bay. To assess these risks, mosquitoes are currently being monitored on a regular basis. Surveillance of adult mosquito populations is undertaken with carbon dioxide baited EVS traps on a weekly basis, and larval populations are sampled routinely in the saline and freshwater wetlands.

The most important pest species identified to date in the area are Aedes vigilax (the saltmarsh mosquito) and Culex annulirostris (the freshwater mosquito).

Combined with this routine surveillance has been ongoing field and laboratory based research designed to increase our knowledge of the local ecology of major pest species. This research has been supervised by Associate Professor Richard Russell and carried out by Cameron Webb and Karen Willems.

The research findings have assisted with the management of mosquitoes at Homebush Bay providing an environment with minimal impacts from pest species.

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