Groton, North Stonington mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus

Ledge Light Health District announced Tuesday that mosquitoes trapped in Groton on Aug. 8 and North Stonington on Aug. 12, near the Stonington town line at Shunock Brook, have tested positive for West Nile virus.

"Although positive WNV mosquitoes are normally expected during the summer months, their presence serves as a reminder for residents to take standard precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes," Ledge Light said in a news release.

Ledge Light offered the following precautions to avoid mosquito bites:

• Minimize time outdoors at dusk and dawn.

• Make sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.

• While outdoors, wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts and use tightly woven clothing material.

• Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors.

• Consider using mosquito repellent when it is necessary to be outdoors and use them according to label instructions. The most effective repellents contain DEET or Picaridin, and oil of lemon eucalyptus also is effective for brief periods of exposure.

• When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors (for example, 6 percent lasts approximately 2 hours and 20 percent for 4 hours) and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the hands of children, or to infants younger than 2 months old.

Measures to reduce mosquitoes around the home include:

• Dispose of water-holding containers, including ceramic pots, used tires and tire swings.

• Drill holes in the bottom of containers, including recycling bins.

• Clean clogged roof gutters.

• Turn over objects that may trap water when not in use, including wading pools and wheelbarrows.

• Change water in birdbaths weekly.

• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and cover pools when not in use.

• Use landscaping to eliminate areas where water can collect.

Additional information can be found at portal.ct.gov/mosquito.

Ledge Light Health District has a supply of larvacidal briquettes that can be used to treat standing water on private property and prevent mosquitoes from developing into adults. Residents of municipalities served by Ledge Light Health District may request treatment on their property by calling Joseph Blanchard at (860) 448-4882, ext. 1308.

"The treatment of stagnant water with larvacide, coupled with the additional protective measures listed above, will significantly reduce the potential for West Nile Virus transmission," Ledge Light said.

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