WEST NEWBURY — West Newbury Fire Chief Michael Dwyer, West Newbury Health Agent Paul Sevigny and Groveland Finance and Personnel Director Denise Dembkoski report that the mosquito traps in both towns tested negative for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) this week.
Groveland and West Newbury’s risk for EEE remains “moderate,” according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).
Groveland and West Newbury officials continue to encourage residents to take precautions to protect themselves from mosquitoes this fall, including wearing bug repellent and limiting time spent outdoors after dusk.
The towns of Groveland and West Newbury are part of the Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control District, a state agency that provides mosquito control activities to 36 communities in the region. Each town works collaboratively with the Mosquito Control District to identify response plans.
As always, Groveland and West Newbury officials urge all residents to read and follow these important safety tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
- 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 the evening or early morning. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellent.
- Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites: Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks while outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
- Apply insect repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus 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 percent 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 directly to your skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
- Drain standing water: Many 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 window and door screens: Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Information about EEE and reports of current and historical EEE virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website here.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the EEE virus is a rare cause of brain infections or encephalitis. Very few human cases are reported across the U.S. each year, but EEE can be fatal or leave victims with serious complications and neurological problems.