It’s getting to be that time of year when we want to spend more time outside enjoying the warm weather and all the activities that go along with warm days and cool nights.~ I’m sure you all remember the concerns we all had last year surrounding mosquitoes and the two primary diseases for which they are responsible - West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.~ These two diseases are turning mosquitoes from a simple annoyance into a serious public health concern.~
Both WNV and EEE are spread by mosquitoes, and as we all know, mosquitoes breed in standing water.~ Without getting into too much detail (and boring you all!), there are over 50 different types of species of mosquitoes in Massachusetts, and there are 2 primary species that carry these 2 diseases.~ It’s important that we eliminate as many areas that mosquitoes will breed as possible NOW, before they get started for the season.
Please take a walk around your property and check for any areas of standing water or any containers that hold water.~ This includes old tires, swimming pools that aren’t maintained (remember – “kiddie” pools aren’t treated with chemicals, usually), bird baths, and pet bowls.~ Check your gutters to be sure they aren’t clogged and holding water.~ A small jar that holds water for 10 days will provide larval habitat for literally hundreds of mosquitoes.~
Let’s do what we can to be proactive about protecting ourselves from WNV and EEE.~ We want to be able to enjoy ourselves outside this summer, instead of worrying if one little mosquito bite will make us sick for weeks.~ For more information, visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/id/epidemiology/providers/public-health-cdc-arbovirus-info.html