West Nile Virus/Prevention of Mosquitoe-borne Diseases

July 17, 2012

First pool of mosquito's in Stratford test positive for West Nile Virus

Our Environmental Health Division works closely with other Town and State departments to conduct a comprehensive mosquito control program. The program includes public education, and the application of larvicide on public property. The goal of the program is to reduce the public’s risk of exposure to mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus (WNV) and other viruses.

Protect Yourself against West Nile Virus (WNV)

Remember the "4 Ds" to reduce your chance of getting bit by an infected mosquito.
  • Use DEET-enhanced insect repellent
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants
  • Avoid the outdoors from DUSK until DAWN
  • DRAIN standing water outside your home
Avoid Mosquito Bites

Apply insect repellent

Apply it every time you go outdoors. Products containing a chemical called DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) are most effective. Use the lowest concentration of DEET necessary for time spent out of doors (i.e. 6% DEET will protect you for about 2 hrs). Even a short time being outdoors can be long enough to get a mosquito bite. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product’s label. For children under age 2 years, parents should consult their pediatrician. DEET should NEVER be used on infants less than two months old.

See CDC Mosquito Repellent Update

Wear protective clothing
When possible wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through clothing, so spray repellent onto clothing for extra protection.

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours
The hours from dawn to dusk are peak mosquito biting times for many species of mosquitoes. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning.

Mosquito Proof Your Home

Drain Standing Water

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of items that hold water. For example, unused flowerpots, birdbaths and dog bowls. A dog bowl can breed nearly 1,000 mosquitoes!

Install or Repair Screens

The best way to keep mosquitoes outside is to have well-fitted screens on both windows and doors.

As of April 2006, the Connecticut Department of Public Health has discontinued their dead bird WNV surveillance program. However, mosquito testing and human case surveillance for WNV will continue. Therefore, the Stratford Health Department will no longer be collecting dead birds for WNV testing.

If you find a dead bird on your property, please take the following steps to dispose of the bird:
  • Wearing gloves, or using a plastic bag as a glove, pick up the bird and put in a plastic bag.
  • Place in another plastic bag & place in the regular trash.
  • Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after disposing of the bird.