The Department of Public Health has published a Fact Sheet on Insect Repellents – a great resource for people with questions about the safety of insect repellents.
Mosquito Borne Disease
In recent years, there has been much focus on the incidents of mosquito-borne diseases, particularly West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and now Zika Virus. There are steps you can take to reduce the presence of mosquitoes on your property – mainly reducing standing water. Even a little bit of standing water – what might accumulate in the saucer of a plant pot after a rainstorm – can be an active breeding ground for mosquitoes. Other places that could be good mosquito breeding grounds include:
- Discarded tires
- Rain barrels, buckets
- Abandoned boats
- Clogged roof gutters
- Bird baths
- Abandoned or untreated swimming pools, wading pools
- Ceramic pots, empty cans
- Anywhere water can collect!
Section 19-13-B31 of the Connecticut Public Health Code states that “no person shall maintain or permit to be maintained any pond, cesspool, well, cistern, rain barrel or other receptacle containing water or accumulation of stagnant water in such a condition that mosquitoes may breed therein or may injure health or cause offense to other persons”.
If you need assistance or advice treating standing water on your property, a District Sanitarian can help. Ledge Light Health District has purchased a supply of larvacide briquettes that can be used to treat standing water on private property. This larvicide prevents mosquitoes from developing into adults. A District Sanitarian will visit your property and apply the larvicide to the area of standing water. The treatment will last approximately 30 days. Contact Felix Prokop III at (860) 448-4882 ext. 329 or Ryan McCammon at (860) 448-4882 ext. 301 for more information.
Some things you can do to avoid mosquito bites include:
- Minimizing time outdoors at dusk and dawn.
- Ensuring door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.
- Wearing shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be tightly woven.
- Using mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors.
- Using mosquito repellent when necessary – in a safe manner according to the label instructions.
A mosquito-borne viral infection which may also be sexually transmitted and an increase in birth defects among infants born to women infected during pregnancy is associated with the virus. The mosquitoes associated with Zika are Aedes aegypti (not found in CT) and a related species Aedes albopictus, which has been found in the southwestern area of the state. Aedes albopictus is typically found in and around buildings and they become infected after feeding on an infected person and transmitting it to the next person.
West Nile Virus
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne viral infection that is transmitted by the culex species of mosquito. Most people infected with the virus experience no symptoms; however, the disease may be serious or even fatal. Certain populations such as the very young, the elderly and the immune-compromised may be a special risk.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but serious disease caused by a virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Although the virus has been found in trapped mosquitoes in Connecticut, only one person has died from EEE.
- LLHD’s Mosquito Control Program
- The State of Connecticut Department of Agriculture traps and test mosquitoes for these viruses. Information regarding mosquito activity and testing can be found on their website.
- The State of Connecticut Department of Mosquito Management Program is outlining all announcements of mosquito testing results as well as educational information on ways Connecticut residents and visitors can avoid mosquito bites.