Posted by: Dr. Catherine Brown, State Public Health Veterinarian
Last week, state officials made the decision to conduct aerial spraying of pesticides in parts of Southeastern Massachusetts after detecting several Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) positive mosquito samples in that area. The spraying took place over the evenings of Friday, July 20, Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22 in 21 communities. The aim of aerial spraying is to quickly and effectively reduce the overall mosquito population in the affected area.
Aerial spraying, when it is effective, reduces, but cannot completely eliminate the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito. So while spraying certainly decreases the number of mosquitoes infected with EEE, it cannot eliminate the threat of mosquito-borne illness.
All residents, whether or not they live in a community that was sprayed, are urged to continue taking personal precautions to protect against mosquito bites.
- Use bug spray anytime you are outdoors.
- Cover exposed skin when outside.
- Use mosquito netting on baby carriages and play yards.
- Avoid being outside from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are at their most active.
Around your home, be sure to drain water-holding containers where mosquitoes can breed, such as garbage cans, flower pots, bird baths, and discarded auto-tires and install and repair screens in windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out. Be sure to visit our website www.mass.gov/dph/wnv regularly for the most up-to-date information on what the state is doing to address mosquito-borne illness.