WRENTHAM — Town Administrator Kevin Sweet would like to notify residents that state officials announced yesterday that aerial mosquito spraying will be done in Wrentham and other Norfolk County communities over the next week.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) currently lists the risk level for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Wrentham as “moderate.” As of Wednesday, there have not been any samples that have tested positive for the virus in Wrentham.
EEE is a rare but serious illness spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. While EEE can infect people of all ages, people under 15 or over 50 years of age are at the greatest risk for serious illness.
“While Wrentham’s risk level is currently considered ‘moderate,’ we still would like to see residents use precautions and avoid mosquito bites whenever possible,” Town Administrator Sweet said. “As of Tuesday, there were 36 communities at critical risk, 42 at high risk and 115 at moderate risk for the EEE virus in Massachusetts. This is an issue that nearly every community in the state is currently dealing with. We will be keeping a close eye on how things progress in our region and residents will be notified if there are any further updates regarding Wrentham.”
Town Administrator Sweet recommends the following safety precautions offered by the MDPH to protect yourself and your loved ones:
Avoid 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 the evening or early morning. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellent.
- Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites: Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks while outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
- Apply insect repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus 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 directly to your skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
- Drain standing water: Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools and change water in birdbaths frequently.
- Install or repair window and door screens: Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
The other Norfolk County communities where aerial spraying will be done include: Bellingham, Franklin, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, Medfield, Walpole, Foxborough, Sharon, Norwood, Westwood, Dover, Needham and Wellesley.
Information about EEE and reports of current and historical EEE virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito.