Media response - insects at Seaford Heights

Published on 10 March 2021

Response to The Advertiser.

  • I've had a couple residents contact me about issues with bugs and mosquitoes coming from the new dam at Seaford Heights. Could you please provide some comment from council's perspective?

RESPONSE

Is council aware of any issues with bugs caused by the new dam?
Yes. After receiving concerns from residents, insect trapping was conducted at three houses on Cotterell Road, which back onto the dam and paddocks. The insects were then formally identified by a qualified entomologist from the South Australian Museum, as we do not have this expertise. The insects have been identified as a non-biting midge, Chironomidae, which do not pose a risk to public health.

Is council doing anything to fix the issue or is this considered a seasonal/natural thing that nothing can be done about?
Council has sought advice from the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) about the insect’s prevention and control. Council officers are meeting with one of PIRSA’s entomologists this afternoon.

We have also worked closely with Water Utilities Australia (WUA), which manages the dam and surrounding land. WUA has:

  • reduced vegetation and weeds adjacent to the housing development
  • commenced insecticide spraying of the entire site to reduce the insect population
  • investigated the possibility of draining the dam to conduct a thorough inspection and/or treatment of the water
  • committed to undertaking the assessment of the insect management measures and to take further action as required.

Is council working with the EPA on this?
No, however the EPA is aware of this issue.

And any advice for residents on what they can do to lessen the impact of the bugs?
We will be able to provide further advice to residents after receiving advice from PIRSA’s entomologists this afternoon.

ENDS