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August Mosquito Control Spraying Schedule for Worcester Announced

For Immediate Release: 7/26/2022 8:17 am

WORCESTER – The Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project (CMMCP) plans to spray areas of Worcester with mosquito pesticides next month on August 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30. The scheduled dates are subject to change due to weather conditions, mosquito populations, mosquito virus activity, and/or special event spraying.

The CMMCP’s full spraying schedule is continuously updated at www.cmmcp.org/home/pages/2022-spray-schedules, and specific areas to be sprayed are posted both on its website and phone system (508-393-3055) each day after 3:30 p.m. Requests for service can be submitted at www.cmmcp.org/home/pages/request-service or by calling 508-393-3055, Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The city will also notify residents in specific areas and neighborhoods to be sprayed via email, social media, and text. Residents interested in receiving these alerts should ensure that they are registered for ALERTWorcester with an up-to-date email and/or phone number. Additional alerts will be sent if cases of mosquito-borne illness are detected and necessitate emergency spraying.

To opt out of spraying, residents must submit a request online or via mail to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. Full instructions can be found at www.mass.gov/how-to/how-to-request-an-exclusion-or-opt-out-from-wide-area-pesticide-applications, and more information is available by calling 508-281-6786 or emailing MosquitoProgram@mass.gov.

Residents are advised to observe the following precautions if their area is being sprayed:

  • Close street-facing windows and turn off any “outside air” settings on air conditioners.
  • Keep pets inside between sunset and midnight, and do not let children play near or behind truck-mounted applicators when they are in use
  • Remain inside during the application and for 15-20 minutes afterwards
  • Wash off any vegetables from home gardens after spraying and before consuming them

Accidental exposure is not expected to cause any health concerns in most people, although anyone who suffers from chemical sensitivities or feels that spraying may aggravate a preexisting health condition should consult their physician and take special measures to avoid exposure if necessary. Accidental exposure to pets should also not cause a problem since the pesticide being used is similar to ones used for flea and tick control.

The CMMCP’s goal is to reduce mosquito exposure to the public and the potential for disease transmission by mosquitoes, including West Nile Virus (WNV) and eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). Information about the products and Integrated Pest Management program used by CMMCP is available at www.cmmcp.org/pesticide-information.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), WNV has been detected in Massachusetts mosquito samples this month. To date, no cases of WNV have been found in humans or animals, and MDPH reports that there is no elevated risk level or risk-level change associated with the positive samples.

Residents are advised to follow the “5 Ds” to protect against WNV and other mosquito-borne illness:

  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants when possible. Cover up during periods of mosquito activity to prevent bites.
  • DEET is an effective insect repellent. Always follow the label instructions.
  • DAWN & DUSK are mosquitoes’ most active periods. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during the evening or early morning.
  • DRAIN water from containers such as buckets, tires, wading pools, and water troughs. Avoid standing water, such as rain collecting in open bins or toys.

In addition to DEET, clothing treated with insect repellent is available, and permethrin—the repellent commonly used—can be applied to treat clothing manually. Installing and repairing screens will also help to keep mosquitoes out of homes.

More information from MDPH, including all WNV and EEE positive results in the state, can be found at www.mass.gov/mosquito-borne-diseases, or by calling the MDPH Division of Epidemiology at 617-983-6800.

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