AUBURN, Mass. – Weekly mosquito spraying at Auburn High School, Pappas Recreation Complex and Lemansky Park has been suspended by the town.
Auburn Board of Health Director Andrew Pelletier and other town officials decided this week to suspend the sprayings because of the onset of cooler weather and the associated decrease in mosquito activity.
Auburn was recently designated a “high risk” community for exposure to mosquito-borne diseases, specifically West Nile virus. This elevated risk status resulted from a human case of West Nile virus in Worcester and three sample pools of West Nile virus mosquitoes trapped in Auburn.
Auburn had been working with Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control to schedule weekly spraying of the fields until after the first hard frost, but Pelletier and the town decided the weekly field sprayings were no longer necessary.
“Though a decrease in mosquitoes, and thus a decrease in exposure potential for West Nile virus, is obviously great news for public health, we want to remind you that the threat will not be completely eliminated until after the first hard frost,” Pelletier said. “We continue to encourage you to dress properly to defend against mosquito bites. Long sleeves and trousers and insect spray containing DEET are your best defense.”
In August, West Nile Virus was detected in mosquitoes collected from the Pakachoag Hill and Heard Street areas of Auburn. The health department said no human cases of West Nile have been identified in Auburn.
Auburn has sprayed to kill mosquitoes in the Pakachoag Hill and Heard Street areas.
Pelletier also said that now is the time to initiate mosquito prevention for next summer.
“Walk your yards, identify any vessels that can possibly contain water, such as tires, five-gallon buckets, tarps, etc.,” Pelletier said. “Dump them out and store them where they won’t refill.”