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Health information > Dengue in North Queensland

The dengue mosquito

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Image of the dengue mosquito Aedes aegypti

The dengue mosquito, or Aedes aegypti, is the main type of mosquito that transmits dengue fever and is found in many tropical countries around the world.

Image of the Asian Tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus The Asian Tiger mosquito, or Aedes albopictus, is another type of mosquito that has the potential to spread dengue fever but in Queensland is only found in the Torres Strait. However there is a significant risk this type of mosquito will spread to the mainland of Queensland.


Where dengue mosquitoes are found

The dengue mosquito is found in northern Queensland and some areas of central and southern Queensland.

Distribution of Aedes aegypti and dengue actvity in Queensland

Each year dengue fever outbreaks occur in northern Queensland, which is why it is especially important for everyone in this region to know how they can protect themselves and their families from dengue fever.

In the past the dengue mosquito was found right across Queensland, in parts of the Northern Territory and northern New South Wales. There is a chance the dengue mosquito may re-establish in these areas and increase the risk of dengue fever spreading.


Where they breed

The dengue mosquito only lives and breeds in urban environments, particularly around people's homes and backyards.

The dengue mosquito does not live or breed in swamps, creeks, rivers, bush land or mangroves. While other types of mosquitoes do, the dengue mosquito only lives where there are people.

Dengue mosquitoes thrive in man-made areas because they prefer to lay their eggs in containers found in domestic environments and the female dengue mosquito needs to feed on humans to produce eggs. They only need a small amount of pooled water to lay their eggs, which they ‘glue’ to the side of containers. The eggs hatch into ‘wrigglers’ or larvae, which then take about 7-10 days to become adult mosquitoes.

Dengue mosquitoes don’t like to fly far. They usually only fly between 50-200 metres, depending on the availability of food (human blood) and containers to lay their eggs in. So once you have dengue mosquitoes in your backyard they won’t be leaving until you get rid of their breeding sites.

To prevent the dengue mosquito breeding it is important to check around your home every week for potential breeding containers and empty out any water.

Read more about some common places dengue mosquitoes breed.


Adult mosquitoes

Adult dengue mosquitoes like to rest in dark areas both inside homes and underneath houses and other buildings. They prefer to bite people during day light hours, unlike other types of mosquitoes that are more active at night.

Some of their favourite resting spots include under beds, tables and other furniture, behind curtains or anywhere dark and shaded under houses.

Using a surface spray in these dark areas can help get rid of dengue mosquitoes around your home.


Last Updated: 15 November 2012
Last Reviewed: 15 November 2012