Is this the million-dollar reason people being eaten alive?
POPULATIONS of bloodsucking mosquitoes have surged around southeast Queensland, with reports children are being left with scars from constant bites.
It comes as Brisbane City Council has been accused by the opposition of short-changing the $4.94 million mosquito eradication program, with budget papers from 2018-19 showing council underspent about $1.15 million over nine months.
But council said it spent most of that in later months, and had an "unlimited budget" for mosquito spraying.
The most recent quarterly budgets have dropped reference to mosquito and pest control entirely.
But the news is little comfort for residents near notorious hot spots such as the Boondall Wetlands, with locals describing swarms of the insect chasing them into cars and forcing them to avoid parks.
Brighton woman Shae Ferguson said her daughter Kylah, 7, had received so many bites on her legs that she was "scarred for life".
"She woke up with legs covered in bites," Ms Ferguson said.
"It's just because (the mosquitoes) drill her."
Ms Ferguson said the situation was so bad, her daughter would wear stockings out of shame for her scars.
"I honestly feel like not enough has been done. I've heard they've scaled back the sprays," she said.
Labor opposition leader Jared Cassidy, who represents Deagon ward, said the statistics represented a serious health and safety issue.
"I would say it's the single biggest issue in my ward at the moment, that people contact my office about," Cr Cassidy said.
"It's just pervasive. For the last couple of years, I've been hearing from people that it has been getting worse and worse."
Council's field services committee chairwoman Vicki Howard said 13 aerial sprays had been conducted this year, most recently on Monday.
"When the experts tell council to spray, we spray; we have an unlimited budget," Cr Howard said.
"Council sprays on the advice of our expert medical entomologists who monitor mosquito breeding sites all year round."
Cr Howard said council spent $4.79 million on mosquito control in 2018-19, slightly less than the $4.94 million forecast.
Other councils around southeast Queensland reported similar surges in mosquito numbers, with the Sunshine Coast Council revealing it received 20 "customer inquiries" a day on the issue.
Brighton mother-of-four Aimee Phomsouvanh said she had been forced to douse her kids in mozzie spray daily before school.
"The mozzies try to get into their hair," Ms Phomsouvanh said.
"It's just constant and it's everyone at the school.
"I know kids who keep insect repellent in their school bags because they need to reapply during the day."
She said mosquitoes were being found even in winter, and was surprised less money than forecast was being spent on pest control.
"I think it's really important that the full amount gets spent here," Ms Phomsouvanh said.
"It's year-round, but definitely this rainy season has exacerbated the problem."
In response to the explosion in mosquito numbers, Metro North Health said residents needed to take increased precautions and limit their exposure to the pests, especially when they were most active around dawn and dusk.