We are in the middle of our mosquito season and with the unusually warm season and the recent rainfall they are abundant. This year, to date in Rhode Island, no mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis. West Nile Virus, while it hasn’t been found in the state this year, is clearly in our region and has been recently isolated in Boston, Stamford, Connecticut and Long Island. In addition, EEE was recently isolated in mosquitoes trapped in Lakeville, Carver, and Easton, Massachusetts.
Mosquitoes are trapped every week statewide by DEM staff and tested at the RI Department of Health (HEALTH) laboratory. DEM will normally report mosquito test results once a week on a routine basis, with additional reports as necessary. Positive mosquito test results will generally trigger additional trapping to assess risk.
Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds from yards by removing anything that holds standing water, such as old tires, buckets, junk and debris, clean gutters so that they drain correctly, and maintain swimming pools properly. Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Just one cup of standing water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes. Avoid mosquito bites by using screens on windows and doors, covering up at dawn and dusk, and putting mosquito netting over playpens and baby carriages when they are outside. Also, use mosquito repellent, but with no more than 30 percent DEET. Do not use repellent on infants.
For those people who want to enjoy there yards, decks and pools throughout the summer season they have the option of hiring a pest control company to treat the yard to eliminate mosquitos. To maintain the yard over the season it would have to be treated every 3 weeks. SHS uses green products to treat mosquitos for those who do not want pesticides sprayed in their yards. Choose whatever options that you are comfortable with but if you’re not being bit by mosquitos you’re not contracting the diseases they carry, it’s that simple.