For Immediate Release: 8/31/2018 12:21 pm
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has informed city officials that West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected in Worcester and that the risk level remains at moderate.
The City of Worcester Division of Public Health and the Department of Inspectional Services have coordinated with the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project (CMMCP) to spray three designated areas of concern on Tuesday, September 4 (map 1, map 2, map 3) after sunset, up until midnight.
Residents within these areas should follow these spray precautions:
Residents have the ability to opt out of spraying in front of their property by visiting www.mass.gov/how-to/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.
A fact sheet on ground spraying of mosquitoes for West Nile Virus is available here: www.mass.gov/service-details/mosquito-control-and-spraying.
West Nile is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. While West Nile can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.
In May 2018, the City of Worcester entered into a partnership with the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project (CMMCP) to offer comprehensive mosquito control services and programs throughout the City this summer.
Together with the City of Worcester’s Division of Public Health and the Department of Inspectional Services, CMMCP will provide education about mosquito biology and personal protection, mosquito surveillance, ditch maintenance, research, tire recycling, beaver control, water mitigation and mosquito spraying. CMMCP staff will evaluate locations for trapping and testing in addition to working with the Department of Public Works & Parks on mitigating mosquito breeding areas in catch basins.
The public is urged to practice the Five D’s of prevention: Avoid being outdoors during DAWN and DUSK, when mosquitoes are most active; DRESS in long-sleeved clothing; use insect repellent with DEET; and DRAIN any standing water from around your home.
Tips for Avoiding Mosquito Bites:
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours - The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing.
Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
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 percent 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.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home:
Information about West Nile Virus and reports of activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at www.mass.gov/mosquito-borne-diseases.
For more information on the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project, including information on spraying and requesting service, please visit www.cmmcp.org or contact them directly at 508-393-3055.