In response to this development, the BCMC will conduct mosquito spraying during the early morning hours on Friday, August 31, 2012 from 3:00am to 6:00am in the South End of New Bedford. The spraying will be conducted on the entire peninsula south of Cove Street including all of the major recreation areas. During the spraying, residents are advised to stay indoors, close windows, and bring pets inside. Given the very early morning spraying, minimal public exposure is expected. The anti-mosquito spray leaves no harmful residue and dissipates within 30 minutes so there is no need to bring children’s toys or patio furniture indoors. Residents with questions can contact the Bristol County Mosquito Control Project at (508) 823-5253.
As a further precaution, Mayor Mitchell has also directed the Parks and Recreation Department to move the location of tonight’s senior concert at Buttonwood Park indoors to the Buttonwood Park Warming House. The concert by the Meadow Larks will still begin at 6:00pm.
The planned spraying follows an aggressive three-day spraying effort conducted on August 17-20th , which targeted areas in the North End, Parker Street and Hicks-Logan neighborhoods. Preliminary indications are that the spraying may have been effective in reducing the threat, with the latest results negative for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and (WNV) carrying mosquitoes in those areas.
Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) raised the EEE/WNV risk level for New Bedford to “High.” MDPH continues to test for indications of EEE/WNV in local mosquito populations. The results of further testing will determine if additional spraying is necessary. Until the threat level is reduced, residents are encouraged to consider rescheduling outdoor gatherings from the evening to earlier in the day, wear long sleeves and pants, use repellent, check window screens and drain any standing water in yards. More detailed precautions follow at bottom.
Residents are advised to take the following actions to reduce their personal exposure to the threat posed by EEE/WNV:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
- Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours - The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing. Mosquitoes are also biting in the afternoon now that evenings are cooler.
- Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
- Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
- Drain Standing Water - Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
- Install or Repair Screens - Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.