MELBOURNE, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Victorians have been warned that the state's mosquito population has soared following an unseasonably wet Spring.
Authorities from the Department of Health said that the weather had provided "perfect" breeding conditions for the pests and as a result it has been forced to start population control programs a month earlier than usual.
The department confirmed that a full-time mosquito monitor had been employed to spray areas with stagnant water, where the insects breed, in several areas across Melbourne.
Charles Guest, Victoria's chief health officer, said mosquitoes in Victoria could transmit the Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses and, on rare occasions, the potentially lethal Murray Valley Encephalitis virus (MVE) that can cause the brain to swell.
Guest said there were 301 reported cases of Ross River virus and 11 cases of Barmah Forest, which can both cause joint inflammation, pain and rashes, in the 2015/2016 summer but those figures could soar this year.
"It's important to look after small children and babies using mosquito repellents, mosquito nets, ensuring that those who can't protect themselves are, as far as possible, protected against mosquito bites," Guest told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Friday.
"Mosquitoes are thriving in the damp conditions and as it gets warmer there will be more of them."
Susan Lawler, an insect expert from La Trobe University, said one of the most efficient ways to keep your home free of mosquitoes was to leave any spiders, particularly of the opiliones species, alone.
"I'm nurturing some spiders in a corner of my bathroom because they're cleaning things up for me," Lawler told the ABC.
"I know not everyone can do that, but a (spider) here and there is not a bad idea. They kill quite a lot (of mosquitoes).
"So spiders will be our friends for the next few weeks."