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Jun 21
National Mosquito Control Awareness Week: June 20-26th

​It is that time of year when we are all spending more time outdoors and mosquitoes are everywhere. During National Mosquito Control Awareness Week (June 20-26, 2021), the Boston Public Health Commission is reminding everyone to take steps to protect yourself against mosquito bites and the diseases they may carry, such as West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

Mosquitoes in Boston are most active from July to September, but they can spread disease until the first hard frost (as late as November). Taking simple precautions can prevent potentially serious diseases caused by the bite of infected mosquitoes. If you are going to be spending time outside, you need to be thinking about prevention and protection against mosquito bites. 

WNV and EEE are rare in Boston, and it is unlikely that you will get sick from a mosquito bite. However, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop high fever, confusion, severe headache, stiff neck, joint pain or if your eyes become sensitive to light.


HOW TO PREVENT MOSQUITO BITES:

Use mosquito repellent

  • Use repellants containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, Picaridin or IR3535.

  • Click here to find the right repellent for you.

  • Always read the directions on the label and use as directed. You may need to reapply repellent from time to time while outdoors.

  • Apply DEET to exposed skin (avoid eyes and mouth) and on clothes, but not on open cuts or wounds.

  • Do not apply underneath clothes.

  • Wash off repellent with soap and water when you go back inside.

  • Use only approved repellents on pets.

  • Do not use repellents containing DEET concentrations of more than 30%. 

  • Do not let children apply repellents to themselves. When you apply it, avoid children's mouth, eyes, and hands. Use carefully around ears.

  • Do not apply DEET on infants. Cover infant carriers with mosquito netting instead. Also do not use oil of lemon eucalyptus on children under 3-years-old.

Cover up

  • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks whenever possible. Tuck your shirt into your pants to keep mosquitoes from going under your clothes.

Peak hours

  • Mosquitoes in Boston are most active from dusk to dawn. Try to limit the time you spend outdoors during this time.

Protect your home

  • Repair damaged windows and door screens. Screens in good condition will help stop mosquitoes from getting inside your house.

Stop Mosquito Breeding

  • Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so it is important to make sure items around your home do not collect water. It only takes one week for a mosquito larva living in water to grow into an adult. Drain any items that can hold water (such as watering cans, open trash cans, etc.) once a week to prevent mosquito breeding. It is also a good idea to clear roof gutters of debris; clean pet water dishes regularly; check and empty children’s toys that may hold water.

REDUCING THE NUMBER OF MOSQUITOES IN BOSTON

BPHC works with the Suffolk CountyMosquito Control Project to reduce the mosquito population in Boston. Products to prevent mosquito larvae from becoming biting adults are applied in catch basins throughout the City. Limited spraying is also done to reduce adult mosquito populations.  For a full list of any upcoming spraying, please visit bphc.org/mosquitocontrol. Boston residents that have questions about mosquito control activities can contact the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project at 781-899-5730.


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