West Nile Virus Confirmed in Mosquitoes From Natick; Spraying September 1

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NATICK – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced today, August 31, that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Natick

In 2021, 8,552 mosquito samples were tested for West Nile virus and 144 samples were positive.

Natick had no WNV positive mosquito samples identified in 2021.

West Nile virus is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state and are found in urban as well as more rural areas.

While West Nile virus can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.

By taking a few, common sense precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones: Avoid Mosquito Bites

Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] 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% 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 to skin.

Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing longsleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours – The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. When risk is increased, consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during 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 repellant.

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 Screens – Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightlyfitting screens on all your windows and doors

The Town of Natick has coordinated with the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project (CMMCP) to spray a designated area of concern on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, after sunset up until midnight.

Residents within this area should follow these spray precautions:

Please close street facing windows and keep pets inside between sunset and midnight if possible to allow a more thorough application. This type of pesticide is similar to ones used for flea and tick control.

Remain inside during the application and for 15-20 minutes afterwards.

Accidental exposure is not expected to cause any health concerns in most people.

No precautions are needed the day after the application as all residues will have evaporated.

Residents with gardens are advised to wash off vegetables before consuming them.

There is no need to cover pools as the spray is an oil-based product and will dissipate quickly.

Any “outside air” controls on older window unit air conditioners should be turned off.

Residents have the ability to opt out of spraying in front of their property by visiting www.mass.gov/howto/how-to-request-exclusion-from-wide-area-pesticides-application. Those wishing to opt out of the spraying program should do so at the provided link as soon as possible to ensure they are excluded. The Natick Board of Health continues to work closely with the MDPH and other agencies, locally we are monitoring several locations, applying larvicides through truck mounted ultra-low volume (ULV) sprayers, and providing information to reduce risk and control mosquito activity.

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