The Andover Health Division was notified on Aug. 16 that two mosquito pools in the Abbot Street area tested positive for the EEE virus. The mosquitoes tested were trapped on Aug. 13 and were of a species that is known to bite humans. To address the mosquitoes, the Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control and Wetlands Management District will conduct spraying in the area on Tuesday, Aug. 20 between the hours of 8-11 p.m. If there is inclement weather, the spraying will be postponed one day.
The area being treated is bounded by Andover Street from Central to Woburn St., Woburn Street from Andover St. to Spring Grove Road, Spring Grove to Abbot Street, to Eastman Road, and Abbot Bridge Drive, and all streets inside this boundary. Additionally, the town and District are working together to conduct barrier spraying along town-owned athletic fields.To view the map of where mosquito spraying will occur click here.
Field treatments are anticipated to take place on Friday, Aug. 23, and fields will re-open to the public on Aug. 24. Andover Public Schools and the town will keep student athletes and other approved field users informed throughout the process.
The District offers the following tips for residents ahead of spraying:
- Please keep pets and children indoors during the hours of the spray.
- Please refrain from nightly walks on spray route during hours of scheduled spray activity.
- Air conditioners left on are ok.
- Close windows on the street side.
- It is ok to re-open doors/windows and let pets out 15 minutes after spray is complete.
As an initial response to positive tests, the Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control and Wetlands Management District is deployed a supplemental mosquito trap to the area this weekend.
The Andover Board of Health will meet Monday evening to discuss the positive test results. It is anticipated that adult mosquito spraying from truck based applicators will occur in a targeted area on Tuesday night or Wednesday if there is rain on Tuesday. A state entomologist will also attend the Board of Health meeting as a resource.
Residents can view the Town of Andover's arbovirus response plan here.
The material being sprayed -- Zenivex E4-RTU -- is a high efficacy reduced-risk adulticide that provides quick, permanent knockdown and reliable control of adult mosquito populations in any mosquito habitat flying at the time of application.
As always, the Andover Health Division urges all residents to read and follow these important safety tips:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
- Be aware of peak mosquito hours: The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during the evening or early morning. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellent.
- Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites: Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks while outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
- Apply insect repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus 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 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 directly to your skin.
- Information on mosquito repellent from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health can be found here.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
- Drain standing water: Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools and change water in birdbaths frequently.
- Install or repair window and door screens: Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Information about EEE and reports of current and historical EEE virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website here.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the EEE virus is a rare cause of brain infections or encephalitis. Very few human cases are reported across the U.S. each year, but EEE can be fatal or leave victims with serious complications and neurological problems.