As of August 15, Halifax and surrounding towns are listed as a “low risk” community for EEE and WnV.
The Halifax Board of Health has been notified about a mosquito with EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) in Middleborough (July 12) and one in Kingston (August 15). It was found in a Culex mosquito, the Culex restuans. Natural and artificial containers are the preferred larval habitat of this mosquito. It feeds almost primarily on birds but has been known to bite humans on occasion. This species is typically collected from May to October but can be found year round as it readily overwinters in man-made structures.
Cx restuans has been implicated as a vector of WNV. Take this bird biter as a warning. People have control over stagnant water in containers: buckets, tarps, tires, etc. Rinse them out, turn them over.
Rinse bird baths at least twice a week.
Residents should continue to take precautions including removing all containers with standing water such as accumulating junk in the yard, not maintaining swimming pools and allowing them to sit with green stagnant water, along with toys, tarps and tires.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health wrote:
Although there has been less evidence of EEE activity this year than in some recent years, the late heat and humidity this summer are perfect conditions for mosquito activity.
The peak time for transmission of EEE will continue through at least some of September.
The types of mosquitoes most likely to carry EEE are considered to be active dusk to dawn but the timing of that activity can be impacted by temperature, humidity, cloud cover and day length. In addition, active participation in outdoor sports increases our availability to mosquitoes. Physical exertion and sweating may also change individual attractiveness to mosquitoes and may decrease the time that repellents are effective.
DPH is writing to ask you to help us get the word out to residents, schools and athletic groups, that it is important to take steps to avoid mosquito bites. Know the drill – mosquito repellents, clothing and limiting outdoor activity during peak mosquito activity hours.
Also, keep in mind that our residents travel between cities and towns regularly and some of those may travel from areas not familiar with EEE. They may not be mindful of the importance of preventing mosquito bites. Please remind them.
To call for ground spraying of your property, call Plymouth County Mosquito Control at 781 585 5450.
Individuals can call the Project, between 8:00am and 3:00pm on Monday through Friday, to request that their property be sprayed. The Project’s phone number is (781) 585-5450, fax (781) 582-1276 or mail us at P.O. Box 72, Kingston, MA 02364. To find out where the spray routes are going to be, call (617) 582-6219 (during spray season). Plymouth County Mosquito Control Project
For more information on EEE and WNv, please see DPH’s site at: http://www.mass.gov.