July 19, 2018
Please be advised that as reported by the State, positive WNV mosquito samples were identified in the Towns s Acton and Ayer on July 13th this year. Every summer and well into fall, we face an increased risk of two different viruses that are spread through bites by infected mosquitoes — West Nile virus (WNV) and eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). These mosquito-borne illnesses can cause serious health problems. Below is a list of recommended steps to reduce your exposure to mosquitos.
• Use bug sprays that contain DEET, permethrin, IR3535 or picaridin (KBR 3023) to provides protection against mosquitoes. In addition, oil of lemon eucalyptus has been found to provide as much protection as low concentrations of DEET.
• Take special care to cover up the arms and legs of children playing outdoors. When you take a baby outdoors, cover the baby's carriage or playpen with mosquito netting.
• Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that take place during evening or early morning hours. That's prime time for mosquito bites.
• Fix any holes in your screens and make sure they are tightly attached to all your doors and windows.
• Remove sources of standing water around your home. Mosquitoes will begin to breed in any puddle or standing water that lasts for more than four days. Check gutters, ceramic pots, trash cans, recycling containers, old tires, wading pools, bird baths, etc
The good news is that you can avoid mosquito bites and "mosquito-proof" your home today. For more information you can contact the Westford Health Department at 978-692-5509. For a list of Cities and Towns where positive samples have been found, you can go to http://www.mosquitoresults.com/
Jeffrey P. Stephens
Town of Westford, Health Department