WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – West Springfield’s Director of Public Health is warning town residents to protect themselves from the threat of West Nile Virus. This threat is in response to mosquito pools in Chicopee that tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
To protect yourself, family and pets from West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis follow these tips:
Avoid mosquito bites
- Apply insect repellent when outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus 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 mosquitoes.
- Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites. Wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Mosquito proof your home
- Drain standing water.Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
- Install or repair window and door screens. Keep mosquitoes 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.
- Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes.
- Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE.