Town to Spray Schools, Fields for Mosquitoes
Spraying will be targeted in high-risk areas as a preventive measure.
Addressing concerns about mosquitoes in the wake of Eastern Equine Encephalitis being found in Georgetown this week, the North Andover Health Department has decided to have various locations sprayed next week.
Spraying will be targeted around the town's schools, athletic fields and parks.
The spraying will be done in the evening. The exact date is yet to be determined, because it depends on weather. If the weather is too cool, the mosquitoes will not be flying so the spraying will be ineffective.
During mosquito spraying, residents are advised to keep windows shut as a precaution. The insecticide used has not been known to cause problems with humans. But it can be harmful to pets, especially elderly pets or pets with lung conditions. Bring in your pets' toys and water dishes.
Last year the big threat was West Nile, which was found in mosquitoes twice in North Andover. The first batch of mosquitoes was found downtown in early August. The second batch was found later in August, also downtown.
EEE is spread by infected mosquitoes. Here are some things you can do to reduce your chances of being bitten, according to the state Department of Public Health:
• Schedule outdoor events to avoid the hours between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
• When you are outdoors, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and socks. This may be difficult to do when the weather is hot, but it will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
• Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 (3-[N-butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid) or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-menthane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions given 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 to skin.
• Keep mosquitoes out of your house by repairing any holes in your screens and making sure they are tightly attached to all your doors and windows.
• Remove areas of standing water around your home. Here are some suggestions:
- Look around outside your house for containers and other things that might collect water and turn them over, regularly empty them, or dispose of them.
- Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left outdoors so that water can drain out.
- Clean clogged roof gutters; remove leaves and debris that may prevent drainage of rainwater.
- Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
- Change the water in birdbaths every few days; aerate ornamental ponds or stock them with fish.
- Keep swimming pools clean and properly chlorinated; remove standing water from pool covers.
- Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.