Residents in southeastern Connecticut are being urged to take precautions against mosquito bites after health officials said insects in a test pool collected in Waterford were found to be carrying West Nile Virus.
Ledge Light Health District announced Tuesday that the positive tests were found in a pool collected on July 20. The positive mosquito, culiseta melanura, feeds primarily on birds and are not considered to be a serious threat to cause infection among humans. The disease can spread between species of mosquitoes, however, and the health district urged residents to take precautions to remain safe.
"Positive WNV mosquitoes are normally expected during the summer months, and their presence serves as a reminder for residents to take standard precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes," said Stephen Mansfield, director of health for Ledge Light.
The warning was also issues by Stonington officials on the town's Facebook page on Wednesday morning.
Officials said residents should consider takin specific steps to reduce mosquito exposure including minimizing time outdoors during dawn or dusk, wearing long pants and long-sleeve shirts when possible, assure that screens are tight fitting and in good repair, and using products such as mosquito netting, repellant and other deterrents to keep mosquitoes away.
Residents may also help reduce mostquito populations near their home by addressing any areas with standing water, including eliminating water-holding containers such as ceramic containers or pots, cleaning clogged gutters, turnng over objects that collect water such as buckets or wheel barrels. and keeping swimming pools clean and chlorinated.
Ledge Light Health District is also offering larvicidal briquettes, a specific larvicide that prevents mosquitoes from developing into adults, which can be used to treat standing water on private property.
Residents of municipalities served by Ledge Light may request treatment of standing water on their property by calling Kara Hovland at 860‐448‐4882, ext. 1308. A district sanitarian will visit your property and apply the larvicide to the area of standing water. The treatment will last approximately 30 days.
Additional resources for information on West Nile virus and mosquito management can be found at http://www.ct.gov/mosquito/site/default.asp.