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Mozzie feeding on photographer's knee

This photo was taken by Jennifer Pappas

Since we started to have regular semi-drought conditions, lots of Australians have been catching and saving rain water for use on gardens. That's a good thing, but perhaps we should take a little more care not to let our stored water be a breeding place for one of the world's most dangerous animals.

World-wide, mosquitoes are responsible for millions of deaths each year and, as temperatures rise, Australia is seeing an increased incidence of serious mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquitoes don't need much water for breeding. A shallow puddle is plenty, a pool collected in a discarded tyre or a rusty jam tin is mozzie paradise. An unprotected 200 litre container can keep a small suburb slapping and itching.

So let's go on collecting water, but please remember to keep it covered—and remember that mesh only works if it's touching the vessel all the way around—and if it isn't dipping down into the water at the middle.

Is your dog remembering to take his/her heartworm tablets? Vile disease, and I don't remember its being around when I was young, although I suppose that originally that's more to do with dogs' being moved from place to place than with increasing mosquito numbers.