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Mosquito Wars – Saddleworld makes YOU the Winner!

Mozzie Plague

Romanticised in Dorothea McKellar’s famous poem “My Country” Australia is a land of contrasts with climatic extremes and challenging seasons.

While many people on the land have welcomed exceptionally high spring rains and abundant growth, the heavy rainfall and floods have led to ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes - even in non-tropical areas. Diseases spread by insects are called ‘vector- borne’ and the warm, wet weather has provided a perfect environment for flying and biting pests.

Farmers and horse owners are particularly concerned that the 2016 “Mosquito plague” is making life miserable for grazing animals and the people who care for them.   Those worst affected are seeking advice about reducing mosquito numbers and protecting animals against constant attack and the bites, which cause distress and a risk of disease.

There are around 2,800 mosquito varieties found in Australia and it is the female mozzie moves away from breeding sites in search of a host.  She needs a blood host in order to complete the reproductive cycle.

Exhaled carbon dioxide is the primary attraction to the female mosquito, with moisture, colour and movement aiding in the detection of a host.  Experts suggest that mozzies prefer to feed on horses, goats, cattle, birds and small shorthaired animals, with people well down on their wish list.

Engorged with blood, the female mozzie can produce up to 1000 eggs, which hatch in 2 weeks and the species has a lifespan of 3-4 weeks.  While mosquitos thrive in moist hot conditions, they can also survive freezing winters, protected from the elements in underground crevices.

Mosquito’s are very effective carriers of many potentially dangerous diseases such as Murray Valley encephalitis, Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus and dengue virus and also contribute to the transmission of heartworms in dogs.

As with most land and animal management plans, prevention is better than cure and property owners and horse carers should implement strategies to destroy breeding habitats so as to reduce mosquito numbers.

Protectt horses from Mozzies

Reduce mosquito-breeding areas as follows:

  • Clean up horse paddocks and yards and remove unused water containers such as buckets, troughs, product containers and old tyres. 
  • Ensure that all horse water vessels are clean with fresh water, regularly checked and topped up.
  • Cover or overturn any items that could collect water such as buckets, tins and tyres, trailers, wheelbarrows, boats and tools.
  • Keep gutters and drains clean so water runs freely.
  • Mend leaky taps.
  • Put sand or mulch around the base of pot plants and regularly watered trees to avoid water pooling and drains filling.
  • Keep swimming pools well maintained or empty.   Securely cover pools if not in use.
  • Keep fish ponds tidy with minimal vegetation around the edges.
  • Keep lawns and gardens trimmed back to reduce the areas that attract mosquitoes.
  • Check water tanks for gaps in or around lids, covers and inlet pipes. Fit a removable mesh screen to the outlet end of overflow pipes.
  • Make sure any water collection containers have secure lids or screens.
  • Remember, mosquitoes love stagnant water, so clean up areas where water sits.

Reduce the risk of bites by following these tips:

  • Cover up humans and animals to reduce exposed areas.
  • Apply repellent to exposed areas and repeat in accordance with directions.
  • Check out insect repellent horse rugs and combos for state-of-the-art permanent insect protection.
  • Use a long-acting surface spray in stables, shelters, breezeways and other areas where mosquitoes like to rest. Apply according to the directions. Be careful to avoid spraying these products near fishponds or when people or animals have had previous allergic reactions.
  • Use electric mosquito ‘zappers’ or vaporisers in stables and work areas.
  • Use mosquito-coils where appropriate in outdoor areas.

Be sure to talk to Saddleworld’s experts.  Saddleworld stores have 40+ Australia wide locations and supply the amazing and revolutionary Wild Horse insect repellent rugs along with a wide range of protective summer sheets and combos, fly veils and nose protection. 

You will also find a comprehensive selection of insect repellent sprays and creams that have been specifically formulated for sensitive skin and low irritant applications. 

Go to for locations or to access the 2016 Product Guide. Happy riding!