The New Bedford Health Department, working closely with the Bristol County Mosquito Control Project and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, is again this year conducting an annual monitoring program to track the potential threat from EEE and WNV carrying mosquitoes. Under the program, mosquito traps are put in place to collect pools of mosquitoes and mosquito populations are monitored throughout the summer months.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the New Bedford Health Department of the finding of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in samples obtained in New Bedford this week. The mosquitoes in the samples were of the Culiseta Melanura species, which is primarily bird-biting, as well as the Ochlerotatus canadensis, which is primarily mammal-biting.
As part of the mosquito tracking program, the New Bedford Health Department will request that the BCMCP target key areas of the New Bedford for spraying, including public parks and locations that host large public events.
As such, the Bristol County Mosquito Control Project will conduct targeted ground spraying for mosquitoes early on the morning of Friday, August 9, 2019. This round of spraying will target areas including Buttonwood Park, Brooklawn Park, Fort Taber, Hazelwood Park, Riverside Park, Clasky Common Park, Ashley Park, the Poor Farm area, Custom House Square and the downtown area.
The Bristol County Mosquito Control Project will also conduct targeted ground spraying for mosquitoes early on the morning of Tuesday, August 13, 2019. This round of spraying will target the far North End of the city, including the areas surrounding the New Bedford Business Park, New Bedford Regional Airport, Sassaquin Pond, and Acushnet Avenue north of Phillips Avenue.
Spraying will take place between 2:00 am and sunrise on Friday and Tuesday morning, weather permitting. Residents in the vicinity of the targeted areas may wish to close their windows this evening prior to the spraying.
The same precautionary measures are advised for EEE, WNV, and the Zika virus. These include the following:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours – While mosquitoes are out at all hours of the day, their peak biting times are from dusk to dawn. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing, especially if you work or spend a lot of time outdoors.
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.