Elephant mosquitoes five times the size of a normal mosquito are being discovered in increasing numbers in Australia.
Giant mosquitoes have been reported near the Gold Coast in Queensland at Paradise Point, Biggera Waters, and Coombabah.
Because of the alarming spike in the numbers of mosquitoes across Queensland, a warning has been issued that the state could suffer an outbreak of incurable disease.
Elephant mosquitoes or toxorhynchites are five times bigger than typical ones but instead of feeding off human blood, they prey on other mosquito larvae, making them beneficial to humans, according to Wikipedia. But residents in affected regions don’t agree.
Swarms of elephant mosquitoes have prompted local government action around the hot spots of Biggera Waters, Paradise Point and Coombabah.
Cameron Caldwell, the Gold Coast Councillor, said the area has recently suffered “plague proportions of mozzies.”
The council conducted aerial sprays around bad areas, and one resident said that the situation was so bad “it’s like being a prisoner in your own home.”
The subsequent flooding and recent weather have experts on the edge of a possible Ross River Virus outbreak.
It was in 2015 when the last significant outbreak occurred and resulted in almost 700 infections of incurable insect borne disease.
In 2019, Queensland health detected 118 cases of the virus.
Eloise Skinner, a Griffith University disease ecologist, said to the Gold Coast Bulletin that the conditions are right for a serious event this year.
She said: “It does tend to come in cycles, every three to five years, so we haven’t seen an outbreak yet.
“But we have conditions conducive with something like that, given the increase in numbers, the movements of animals and the weather.”
One internet user commented: “If they don’t bite humans and eat other mosquitoes larvae aren’t they good?”
Another wrote: “i live at hope island, five mins from coombahbah, and i’m sorry to say but we have had these massive mossies the 4 yrs i’ve been here……. they are massive! when i’ve tried telling people about the 20 cent piece size mossies they just laugh at me.”
A third added: “Try living in Wynnum West, can’t even hang the washing out before mosquitoes in herds attack you.”
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