EEE, West Nile not seen in NH yet, but it's early
Stagnant water is essential to the life cycle of the mosquito. This mosquito is standing on the water from which it ahs just emerged. Below the surface are several pupae waiting to emerge. (ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/DOUGLAS ALLEN)
What to do …People are encouraged to practice the “Three D's” of mosquito prevention:
Drain: Empty out containers at least once a week. Fill in low-lying areas.
Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
Defend: Properly apply an approved repellent, such as DEET or oil of lemon-eucalyptus.
Source: American Mosquito Control Assn.
"Hot and humid is certainly a good recipe for mosquitoes to thrive in," said Piera Siegert, the state entomologist whose office enforces regulations to curtail the human-assisted spread of insects and diseases that threaten the health of the state's forests and agriculture. "There does seem to be a higher level of mosquitoes."
Howe wasn't surprised by the lack of positive test results.
"Historically, in New Hampshire, there really haven't been positive results until the middle or end of July, which is why we begin our testing for mosquitoes on July 1," she said.
"It's no surprise given the non-stop rainfall in June and now in July," MacGregor said.
Last year, Manchester saw its first positive result for West Nile come from a batch of mosquitoes collected July 19, "probably the earliest we had seen it," said Philip J. Alexakos, chief of environmental health and emergency preparedness for the Manchester Health Department.
This month, all 52 mosquito batches tested came back negative, he said.
The city collects samples four nights a week at three locations, with two traps at each location.
Those locations are not disclosed publicly because of past vandalism.
Last year, the city submitted 700 mosquito batches and received 31 positives for West Nile and one positive for EEE.
The city hired Dragon Mosquito to spray once last year, in August.
"When we spray, we only spray city-owned parks, playgrounds and athletic fields. We do not do road-based spraying," said Public Health Director Tim Soucy.
Plaistow budgets $33,000 for the testing program and an additional $6,000 for emergency spraying, said Public Health Director Dennise Horrocks.
Last year, Plaistow did no emergency spraying, and the town didn't have any positive results for EEE or West Nile Virus, she said.
"Currently, the town of Bedford does not do testing or spraying for mosquitoes," he said. "We did not do testing and spraying in 2012, either."
"Information will be posted at the town athletic fields and common areas, (and is) currently a public service announcement on Bedford Community Television," he said. "In addition, the information is on our town website."
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