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GIVE 'EM THE STICK!

The mosquito invasion is on its way…. Summer is coming and so are the mosquitoes…

Just when the weather is nice enough to lure people outside, there will be a danger lurking in the great outdoors.

Entomologist Andrew Jardine, who studies the movement and growth patterns of more than 100 species of mosquito, said the risk of mosquito-borne virus will be present and people needed to make sure they were doing what they could to avoid any problems.

"There's really only a few that are real key drivers or carriers of Ross River Virus, unfortunately they're the more common ones we have down here in the South West and that breed on the salt marshes," Dr Jardine said.

Experts are targeting a breeding zone east of Mandurah using a chemical called methapreen which is deadly to mosquitoes but Dr Jardine says is harmless to humans and wildlife.

The Health Department recorded 500 cases of Ross River Virus but with higher tides predicted and a wetter summer on the way that number is set to double.

Pathwest Microbiologist David Speers said while the virus wasn't fatal, it could be debilitating for up to six months.

Symptoms are similar to those associated with influenza, such as joint pain in the hands and wrists and tiredness.

Dr Jardine said people should cover-up and use a repellent to protect themselves from the mosquito menace.

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