Experts urge use of insect repellent, warn of risk of West Nile virus, EEE
By Judy Benson Published on 7/31/2009
Don't skimp on the insect repellent this summer.
So advised Theodore Andreadis, Connecticut's chief medical entomologist, after describing the explosion in the mosquito population this summer. Heavy rainfall this summer followed by the current spell of hot, humid weather made for perfect conditions for many more mosquitoes than normal to breed, hatch and reach adulthood, he said.
Empty all standing water on your property. Some of the places it can accumulate include discarded tires, buckets, rain barrels (put a screen over the top), abandoned boats, clogged gutters, bird baths, wading pools, empty flowerpots and wheelbarrows.
The Ledge Light Health District offers larvicide briquettes for free. They can be used to treat standing water on private property. Call 448-4882 to make arrangements to pick up the briquettes. They can also be purchased in many hardware stores.
To avoid mosquito bites, minimize time outdoors at dusk and dawn.
Use insect repellent containing 20 percent to 30 percent DEET.
Repair holes in door and window screens and make sure they fit tightly.
Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors.
Wear protective clothing such as long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
”We're trapping 8,000 mosquitoes a day,” said Andreadis, who heads the mosquito trapping and testing program at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. “Normally we trap a couple of thousand.”
The mosquitoes are collected in traps his staff sets during the summer at 90 sites