image description
A feeding female Anopheles funestus mosquito from the Centers for Disease Control Public Health Image Library.

Presence of West Nile Prompts Mosquito Spraying in Pittsfield

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project will be spraying a one-mile circumference of Williams and Elm streets.
 
The spraying is in response to the presence of West Nile virus. On July 3, three mosquitoes tested positive for the virus. A truck-mounted adulticide spraying in the area of Elm and Williams from  10 p.m. until midnight on Monday, July 16. If it rains, the spraying will be rescheduled for Wednesday, July 18.
 
On the same collection date, there was also a positive finding in Stockbridge as well. 
 
The spraying comes right on the heels of the Board of Health approving an update protocol as to when to spray. A group of residents had petitioned against the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project altogether and that ultimately led to a City Council petition to just remove the adulticide spraying.
 
The City Council and the Board of Health came to an agreement on certain thresholds that had to be met before spraying.
 
The city provided the following advice to help residents protect themselves.
  • When outdoors, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and socks.
  • Use a repellent with DEET according to the instructions on the product label.
  • Keep mosquitos out of your house by repairing holes in screens and making sure screens fit tightly to doors and windows.
  • Schedule outdoor events to avoid the hours between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Remove areas of standing water around your home to eliminate sources of mosquito breeding.
Although there are no reported human cases of West Nile virus in Massachusetts this season, protection is important. About 20 percent of infected people will have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands, skin rash on chest, stomach and back. One percent of infected people will develop severe illness but the majority of people who are infected will not have symptoms. 
 
Residents may request to be excluded from pesticide application by submitting an Exclusion Request Form which can be obtained at this link. The form is also available by contacting the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project at 413-447-9808 or berkmc@bcn.net.

Tags: mosquito spraying,   

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