Third Mosquito Spraying Scheduled In Pittsfield
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — For the third time this summer the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project will spray a section of the city for mosquitoes.
West Nile Virus was found to be present in mosquitoes collected for sampling last Thursday. The project will now use a truck-mounted adulticide spray in a one-mile radius of the intersection of Pecks Road and Wahconah Street on Monday, August 13 from 10 p.m. until midnight.
The spraying will the third of the season and the infected mosquito is the fifth confirmed carrying the virus. The city is classified as being at a "moderate risk," according to the state Department of Public Health.
Countywide a total of 20 mosquitoes were confirmed with the virus - three in Clarksburg, two in Lanesborough, five in Pittsfield, two in Richmond, two in Sheffield, five in Stockbridge, and one in Tyringham. The project collects samples in just 10 Berkshire towns and those samples are tested by the state. There have been no confirmed cases of West Nile in animals or humans this year.
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.
The spray is deployed under certain conditions including a consistent presence of the virus or the presence of the virus plus the mosquito population surpassing a certain threshold based on species.
The Mosquito Control Project says the adulticide spray is low toxicity and quickly breaks down as to not leave any residue. The city's Health Department says there is no need for residents to make any special precautions other than staying indoors during the spraying.
However, the harmlessness of the chemicals has been challenged by a group of local advocates who have pushed to end adulticide spraying in the city altogether. They claim the chemical is detrimental to human health and the environment.
Residents have the ability to request their properties be excluded from the spraying through the state's website or by contacting the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project 413-447-9808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The city also 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 mosquitoes 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.
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