Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Staying Safe from Mosquitoes

Even though the cool evenings of autumn are now upon us, it is vital to take effective measures to protect ourselves and our family members from mosquitoes. Recently there have been reports of positive tests for the West Nile Virus in our region, including the communities of North Andover and Essex. While it is important to know that the vast majority of mosquitoes are not carrying the West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), the risk of infection is still very real.

It is important to try and minimize early evening and night activities until the first deep frost of the year has arrived. Most mosquitoes die due to the extreme change in temperature. Until then if you must stay outside for long periods of time, be sure to wear long sleeved shirts and pants, and spray on mosquito repellent products containing DEET.

Protecting your house is also very important. To control mosquito populations around your home, drain items that can collect water from rainfall (gutters, old tires, wading pools, birdbaths, etc.). Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, which offers ideal conditions for mosquito populations to grow. Also, do a check of all your window screens. If there are any holes, it is imperative that the screens are patched to prevent mosquito bites during the night.

To learn more about the West Nile Virus and EEE, please click here to visit the Department of Public Health’s website. Posted below are Mosquito Risk Maps of the Commonwealth.

Map of EEE Risk Categories

Map of WNV Risk Categories