Mosquitos : Not Too Bad, But They’re There

Compared to last year, the number of pesky mosquitos is down, but the diseases they carry are still a concern, and that’s why Northeast Mosquito Control has been spraying as requested in Revere, Winthrop and Lynn.

Kim Foss, an entomologist with Northeast Mosquito Control in Georgetown, which covers Essex County, and Winthrop, Revere in Suffolk County, said reports come in to her weekly through local health departments and treatments are being done.

“Our region has a microclimate that’s a little different than the rest of the state. Rainfall amounts make a difference too,” she said.

One area always a concern for Revere and Winthrop officials is the Belle Isle Marsh, which had swarms of mosquitos last summer.

“We’ve been doing regular treatments down there and all salt marsh areas with a bacterial product,” Foss said.

She explained that the traps were light, not many mosquitos. She added that there had been some residential complaints from Revere coming, but nothing unusual.

“Some of the tidal areas, with the rain and high tides we’ve been getting some hatching and some places we can’t reach because the fragmities are tall,” Foss said.

No triple E or West Nile Virus has been detected in the district, which includes Revere, Winthrop and Lynn. Although one case of triple E in a human has been reported statewide

“This is sort of a mixed year so I don’t know what to expect,” Foss said. “We are seeing activity in the areas where there are cat tails and a lot of the mosquito populations are rebounding because the drought years have ended, and rebounding to a normal level.”

Foss said there was such a cold late spring that it delayed a lot of mosquito activity.

Any resident in Lynn and Revere can contact Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control directly and request a spraying. In Winthrop the call must go through the health department.

“From now until heavy frost, people should be aware there is mosquito-bourne illness and they should be wearing repellent when they are outdoors,” Foss said.

For more information contact Northeast Mosquito at

Avoid Mosquito Bites

Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)], or IR3535 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% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitos. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.

Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors to help keep mosquitos away from your skin.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

Drain Standing Water. Mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitos to breed by either draining or discarding 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 Screens. Keep mosquitos outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Protect Your Animals

Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitos near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitos. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is diagnosed with WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.

More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.

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