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Jul 30
Mosquito Spraying Planned For Next Week In East Boston

Friday, July 30, 2021 - The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) announced there will be an upcoming spraying to help control the mosquito population in East Boston. The recent rainfall has resulted in very high numbers of mosquitoes being found in surveillance traps. So far this year, mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile Virus in Jamaica Plain, Brighton and Roxbury. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has raised the risk level for West Nile Virus in Boston to ‘moderate.’

  • Tuesday, August 3, 2021: The Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project is planning to use a truck mounted sprayer to spray in East Boston neighborhoods located near Orient Heights, including streets in the vicinity of Orient Avenue, Boardman Street, Andrew Road and Horace Street. All spraying happens between dusk and 11:30pm. If it is postponed, it will be rescheduled for Wednesday, August 4, 2021. 

As with any pesticide, people should minimize their exposure and close windows during this time. If residents see a spray truck approaching, go indoors for a few minutes while the spray dissipates. Beekeepers do not need to take any special precautions since spraying begins after dusk. 

The mosquito control product being used is Zenivex E4 (EPA Reg No. 2724.807). It is being applied at 1 oz per acre. Zenivex E4 is a non-ester pyrethroid and is classified by the EPA as a reduced risk pesticide. Mosquito control applications of Zenivex E4 do not pose a significant risk to people or their pets due to the low toxicity and the small amount used to control mosquitoes. Zenivex E4 biodegrades rapidly and doesn’t build up in the environment. Residents with questions related to the spraying should call the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project (SCMCP) at 781-899-5730. 

BPHC partners with the SCMCP to protect Boston residents from mosquito-borne illnesses and to control the mosquito population in certain areas of Boston. SCMCP collects mosquito samples in traps every week during the summer and fall. Those mosquito samples are tested to see if WNV or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) are present. Mosquito control measures are also implemented during the summer and fall months. Wetlands, storm drains and other areas around the city are treated to limit the number of mosquitoes by killing mosquito larvae. In April of 2021, there were sprayings in Hyde Park and West Roxbury. This week, there was a spraying in Hyde Park. For more information about the sprayings, reach out to SCMCP at 781-899-5730. For a full list of any upcoming spraying, please visit

Mosquitoes in Boston are most active from dusk to dawn during the months of July to September. However, mosquitoes can spread disease until the first hard frost (as late as November). Mosquito species have different breeding habits, but most want to lay their eggs near water – usually in vegetation or in still water. To help prevent mosquitoes from breeding, BPHC advises residents to limit places around the home where standing water can collect. Residents should turn over unused flowerpots, buckets, wheelbarrows and garbage cans; remove leaves and other debris that can clog gutters and trap water; dispose of or cover old tires; and cover swimming pools when not in use

Preventing Mosquito Bites:

  • Use Mosquito repellent

    • Use repellents containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin or IR3535. 

    • Always read the directions on the label.

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

    • After going inside, wash off repellent with soap and water. If the product has been applied directly to clothing, wash it before wearing again.

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

    • Do not let children apply repellents themselves. Avoid children’s eyes, mouth, or hands and use them cautiously around ears.

    • Do not use DEET on infants under two months of age (mosquito netting can be used over infant carriers) or oil of lemon eucalyptus on children under 3 years of age.

    • Use only repellents approved for use on animals on pets.

  • 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.

  • Mosquito proof your home to stop breeding in and around your yard

    • Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so it is important to make sure items around your home do not collect any water. It only takes one week for mosquito larvae living in water to grow into biting adults. Turn over unused flowerpots, buckets, wheelbarrows and garbage cans; remove leaves and other debris that can clog gutters and trap water; dispose of or cover old tires; and cover swimming pools when not in use.

    • Make sure window and door screens do not have holes in them. Screens in good condition will help prevent mosquitoes from getting inside your home.

  • Protect your animals

    • Pet owners should speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE.

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