West Nile Virus Is On Connecticut’s Radar in Norwalk This Time Of Year

Author: Mosquito Squad of Fairfield, Westchester, and Rockland County

Mosquito monitoring began June 2 in Norwalk and 21 other towns in Fairfield County. The Connecticut Mosquito Management Program, using traps monitored by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES), are just two of the agencies responsible for coordinating mosquito monitoring. According to the Norwalk Daily Voice, a total of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 cities and towns make up the CAES monitoring network. Luckily as of the time of this writing, all of the traps are negative for mosquito-borne diseases so far this year.

This is the time of year that West Nile Virus (WNV) and other mosquito-borne illnesses harmful to humans begin appearing in our county. Monitoring is important in predicting where West Nile cases will begin occurring. Once mosquitoes are infected, WNV will shortly begin appearing in humans.

In 2013, mosquitoes positive for West Nile Virus were found in 22 towns, including Fairfield, Westport and Norwalk. Four CT residents were diagnosed with the virus. Fortunately, there were no fatalities in 2013 involving WNV infections. One resident did succumb to Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in the eastern part of our state. Also last year, part of the Pachaug State Forest in Voluntown was temporarily closed due to mosquitoes with EEE being found there.

Connecticut has been diligent in monitoring the presence of WNV and other mosquito diseases since 1999 when West Nile Virus was first found. At that time, birds and other animals were monitored for the disease. Since 2007, monitoring mosquitoes caught in traps has been used in identifying the presence of WNV in areas, since humans can only become infected with WNV if an infected mosquito bites them. It is only a matter of time before we begin seeing mosquitoes that test positive in Fairfield County. Mosquitoes in East Haven have already tested positive for WNV this year. The HamletHub is reminding residents to begin protecting themselves from bites now through September when mosquitoes begin hibernating.

Guarding yourself and your family from mosquito bites begins with a few simple steps. Remember, mosquitoes need very little water to lay eggs and hatch. A bottle cap is enough for some species. Be sure and drain any standing water in flowerpots, gutters and downspouts. Other mosquito breeding areas often missed are tarps covering yard items and children’s toys left outside. Birdbaths should be emptied and refreshed every 2 or 3 days. Mosquitoes only need 4 days to go from eggs to adults with the right weather conditions.

One recommendation by health professionals is to consider using a barrier spray, or perimeter spray, to eliminate mosquitoes around your property. Barrier sprays reduce your exposure to all mosquito-borne infections. You can eliminate up to 90% of the mosquitoes around your home using an effective barrier spray, like the one {Sub:BusinessName} offers to homeowners. Our barrier spray is effective for up to 3 weeks, before needing to be reapplied for continued protection.