How to combat mosquitoes as state researchers begin seasonal testing

Environment

EAST HARTFORD. Conn. (WTNH) — Memorial Day weekend may have been a rain out, but not for the mosquitoes! Now is the prime time they lay their eggs, and they now have plenty of water to do it.

East Hartford is a town with a lot of rural areas and green space, where standing water can be found, thanks to all the rain we had this past weekend. The standing water is what the town, as well as the state, is targeting. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) has put out their traps for mosquitoes to see just how bad this year is going to be.

The state covered every county in Connecticut Tuesday with trapping stations — placed at 108 locations — and will be examining mosquitoes for West Nile Virus and Other deadly viruses is the mosquitoes carry.

Philip Armstrong from CAES said, “Two years ago, EEE virus, another mosquito-borne virus, was the disease of primary concern. And, we had a number of fatalities here in Connecticut.”

With a large amount of rain over the weekend, scientist expect a strong start from the mosquitoes.

Armstrong said, “They have very much a boom and bust lifecycle, and they really take advantage of these temporary flooding or pools that form after a rain.”

So it’s important to go through your house, check places like your gutters that don’t drain properly or planters, old tires, or children’s toys. It doesn’t take much water, even the rim of an overturned bucket, can create enough water for mosquitoes to lay their eggs in. It only takes a couple of days to a couple of weeks for hundreds of hungry mosquitoes to hatch. And if you have a pond or fountain, you can treat that yourself for mosquitoes.

East Hartford Director of Health Laurence Burnsed said, “You can go to your home improvement store and find these mosquito dunks. You can buy them in six packs and you apply them every couple of weeks to standing water, especially areas like ponds.”

In East Hartford, they’ve already asked the residents to get rid of standing water as they have enacted their mosquito protocols.

“We have an assessment control program,” Burnsed said, “Where we work with a company to monitor specific areas of town, there are undeveloped wetlands areas.”

Scientists also say to do the standard precautions when you’re out at sunrise and sunset, once mosquitoes are most active. Long sleeve long pants are mosquito repellent, and try to keep the mosquitoes off you to reduce your risk of being bitten and getting a virus.

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