In light of the increased mosquito activity in the Pioneer Valley area, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MPH) has issued a reminder to residents to encourage everyone to use the tools of prevention, including applying appropriate mosquito repellent, wearing clothing to reduce exposed skin when weather permits, draining standing water to prevent mosquito breeding and repairing window screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes. Avoiding mosquito bites is the best defense.
Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient (DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535) according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning in areas of high risk.
Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
More information can be found on the DPH Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito