Here on the North Shore the mosquito season is fast approaching. In lieu of our significant snowfall accumulation over the past few months it is predicted mosquitoes will be out in record numbers, much like 2012, making the potential for mosquito arbovirus quite severe.
According to a recent press release from the Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control and Wetlands Management District, reports of mosquito arbovirus were quite high in 2012, with Eastern Equine Encephalitis among the highest. Essex County reported two human deaths from Eastern Equine Encephalitis, one horse death from EEE as well as one alpaca death from the illness. In Essex County last year there were a total of 1,038 pools tested which included 12 pools that tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), 46 pools that tested positive for West Nile Virus, and 2 pools which tested positive for a combination of both EEE and WNV.
The moisture combined with the anticipated warm conditions make for a virtual petri-dish for the potential of mosquito-borne illness transmission. The Newburyport Health Department has issued a list of precautionary measures for residents and their families to follow in order to reduce the chance of infection from a mosquito-borne illness. Mosquito Squad of The North Shore wants to stress the importance of these steps in avoiding mosquito bites. We have put together a list of safeguards residents can take to keep from falling victim to a mosquito arbovirus.
- Avoid mosquito bites– this includes being aware of peak mosquito biting hours which is dusk to dawn for most mosquito species. Some mosquitoes are day biting mosquitoes, such as the Asian Tiger Mosquito which is a known vector of WNV. When venturing into unprotected area it is important to wear proper clothing which includes long sleeves, long pants and socks.
- Apply an insect repellent when traveling into unprotected areas – make sure to read the product instructions on the label carefully as some products should not be applied directly to the skin.
- Mosquito proof your property -since many mosquito species lay their eggs in standing water it is important to drain and toss out items and which carry the capability to pool or hold water. Mosquitoes only need a small amount of water to lay eggs and perpetuate the cycle of mosquito-borne illness and disease. A single discarded soda bottle top can accumulate 100’s of mosquito eggs. Mosquito Squad of the North Shore offers a handy list of ways to keep your property mosquito free this season, it is called the 5T’s of mosquito control and prevention. We suggest visiting and printing the list off to keep handy in making a habit out of safeguarding your property against the threat of mosquitoes.
- Mosquito proof you home – check gutters and downspouts for debris or clogs which can lead to moisture pooling in these areas and create the perfect spot for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Also check wading pools, birdbaths and flower pots to make sure water does not stagnate, change the water in these items frequently. Install screens on windows and doors and make sure to repair damaged screens in a timely fashion. A small rip or tear in a screen can lead to mosquitoes entering into your home.
- Treat the area around your home -Utilize a mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET-containing bug spray on the body. Mosquito Squad of the North Shore offers a safe and effective barrier spray program which eliminates up to 90% of the mosquitoes and ticks on a property.
Mosquito Squad of the North Shore offers an intensive mosquito control program that controls and prevents mosquitoes all season. Our safe and effective barrier sprays are sprayed on a schedule throughout the mosquito season and will ensure there are no gaps in your mosquito control. We also offer an automatic mosquito misting system that is highly effective in residential settings. Our goal is to completely protect you and your family from mosquitoes and the many diseases they carry for the entire season.