Mosquito season is in full effect and the most current weather conditions are perfect for mosquitoes. Although most types of mosquitoes are just nuisances, some types of mosquitoes spread viruses that can cause disease.
For most viruses spread by mosquitoes, no vaccines or specific medicines are available. Although we cannot completely get rid of these insects, there are ways to lessen their impact while we enjoy the outdoors.
“Over the past few years, the U.S. has had increased cases of mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, Chikungunya and Zika virus,” said Chesprocott Health District Director Maura Esposito. “To ensure the safety of family, friends and pets, it’s extremely important to make sure you’re taking the proper steps: first, reducing mosquito breading through water management and source reduction, and second, reducing adult mosquito populations.”
People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes. Chesprocott Health District recommends these preventive measures:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Apply insect repellent when outdoors. Use a repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient (DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535) according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under 2 months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30 percent or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years of age.
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 in areas of high risk.
Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your 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 discarding items that hold water.
Check rain gutters and drains. Empty unused flowerpots and wading pools and change the water in birdbaths frequently.
Install or repair screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES), is the state agency responsible for trapping, identifying, and testing mosquitoes. Please visit their website for weekly testing results.
Cheshire has an active trapping site and weekly results can be found on the CAES website.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Chesprocott Health District at (203) 272-2761.