New Bedford to spray against mosquitoes Thursday

This 2006 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host.

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Though warmer temperatures haven’t quite hit their stride in Southern New England, the time of year is right to guard against mosquitoes — especially with proliferate areas of standing water from rain.

Mosquito control officials will conduct targeted ground spraying in several New Bedford neighborhoods in the wee hours of Thursday morning — weather permitting — and residents of several neighborhoods are being advised they may wish to shut their windows.

The city said Tuesday they’re launching the annual program to monitor and track mosquitoes and the potential threat of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV) which mosquitoes can carry. The Bristol County Mosquito Control Project and the Massachusetts Department of Health work with the city on the operations.

Thursday’s round of spraying is set to take place between 2 a.m. and sunrise.

The spraying will target areas including Buttonwood Park, Brooklawn Park, Fort Taber, Hazelwood Park, Riverside Park, Clasky Park, Ashley Park, the Poor Farm area, Pier 3 and downtown.

The health department also advises to use mosquito repellent and reduce exposed skin during peak mosquito hours (dusk to dawn). Around the home, you should drain standing water (which is where mosquitoes lay their eggs) and install tight-fitting screens on windows and doors.