New Bedford to spray for mosquitoes on Thursday

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The city of New Bedford on Thursday will once again be conducting targeted ground spraying to eliminate mosquitoes, the city’s Health Department announced Tuesday.

The spraying is part of the city’s yearly program to monitor the potential threat of disease-carrying mosquitoes. The Health Department traps large samples of mosquitoes then tests them for EEE, West Nile virus and other illnesses.

Health officials said the Bristol County Mosquito Control Project will be spraying early Thursday morning at public parks and locations that host large public events.

Fact Sheet: Mosquito-Borne Diseases »

Targeted areas will include Buttonwood Park, Brooklawn Park, Fort Taber, Hazelwood Park, Riverside Park, Clasky Park, Ashley Park, Madeira Field, the Poor Farm area, Pier 3 and the downtown area. Spraying will occur between 2 am and sunrise, weather permitting.

Residents in the vicinity of the targeted areas may wish to close their windows the evening prior to the spraying.

In order to take precaution against EEE, West Nile and Zika virus, the New Bedford Health Department advises the following:

Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • Be aware of peak mosquito hours: While mosquitoes are out at all hours of the day, their peak biting times are from dusk to dawn. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing, especially if you work or spend a lot of time outdoors.
  • Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites: Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
  • Apply insect repellent when you go outdoors: Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] 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. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to 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 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 screens: Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.