Infected mosquitoes isolated in Bedford – Spraying to resume on Wednesday, September 5

From Heidi Porter, MPH, REHS/RS – Director of Public Health, Bedford Board of Health

The Bedford Board of Health wants to inform the Bedford public that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported on August 31, 2012, that West Nile Virus (WNV) has been isolated from mosquitoes in Bedford.

Spraying to resume

The East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project will be controlling mosquitoes in neighborhoods of Bedford using truck mounted aerosol sprayers on Wednesday, September 5th between dusk and 11:30 PM.  Spraying is scheduled for neighborhoods located in the vicinity of Davis Rd. and Carlisle Rd.

If spraying is postponed for any reason, it will be rescheduled for Thursday, September 6th.

The Project uses a spray formulation containing the pesticide, sumithrin, to control mosquitoes.  Sumithrin is a synthetic pyrethroid that is classified as slightly toxic by the EPA.  Mosquito control applications of sumithrin do not pose a significant risk to people or their pets due to the low toxicity of sumithrin and the small amount used to control mosquitoes.  As with any pesticide, people should minimize exposure.  If residents see a spray truck approaching, they are advised to go indoors for a couple of minutes while the spray dissipates.  Residents are also advised to close windows facing the street.

Information regarding the schedule and areas to be sprayed is available via a recorded message at 781-893-5759 and at the Project’s website at If residents have any questions related to the spraying or any questions on mosquitoes, call the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project at 781-899-5730.

Bedford’s Board of Health urges continued caution to avoid mosquito bites

This news should serve as a warning that mosquitoes pose a health threat between now and early October.

Although the chances of acquiring mosquito borne diseases such as WNV or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) are remote, residents should be aware that these mosquito-borne viruses could cause fever, meningitis or encephalitis.  Early symptoms of these diseases include fever, headache, stiff neck and muscle weakness.

Mosquitoes acquire WNV or EEE after biting an infected bird.  Those mosquitoes can then transmit that virus to a person, horse or to another bird.  Culex mosquitoes that develop in water holding containers are the primary vectors of WNV, while the mosquitoes that transmit EEE usually originate in wetlands.

During risk periods of WNV or EEE, residents should take preventative actions to avoid mosquito bites.

  • Be aware that mosquitoes are active in damp shady areas, during cloudy humid days, at dusk, dawn and during the night.  Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing.
  • To protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes use mosquito repellent and wear protective clothing.  Use repellents containing DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus and follow the directions on the label.  Never use DEET on infants.  Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus should not be used on children under three.  Although uncomfortable during hot days, long- sleeve shirts and long pants can provide a layer of protection.
  • Cover up the arms and legs of children playing outdoors.  Baby carriages and playpens should be covered with mosquito netting.
  • Fix any holes in screens and screen doors and replace worn weather stripping.

There are certain actions that residents should take related to WNV

  • To prevent a yard from becoming a source for Culex mosquitoes, homeowners should make a thorough inspection of their property and remove, empty, cover or treat any water-holding containers.  During the summer, mosquito larvae can complete their development in water within a week.
  • Containers where mosquitoes commonly lay eggs include neglected swimming pools, water in loose fitting pool covers or tarps, unscreened rain barrels, rimless tires, and plastic toys.
  • Tires should be disposed of properly or stored inside.
  • Rubbish barrels, wheelbarrows and small boats should be covered or stored upside down.
  • The water in wading pools and birdbaths should be changed weekly.
  • Infrequently used pools should be covered or properly maintained.
  • Rainwater collection barrels should be screened, emptied once a week or treated with products containing Bti.

For further information on WNV or EEE, log unto the Massachusetts Department of Public Health web site at or the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at .

If residents have any questions about mosquitoes or how to control them, contact the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project at 781-899-5730 or visit our website at Facts sheets on WNV and EEE and other mosquito-related materials are available by contacting the Bedford Board of Health at 781-275-6507 or by accessing their website at

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