The Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) announced today that mosquitoes collected in Lyme on Sep. 6 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). The positive mosquito, culex restuans, is known to bite birds and mammals.

Previously this summer, mosquitoes from North Stonington (Aug. 21) and Waterford (Aug. 23) tested positive for the virus. Positive WNV mosquitoes are normally expected during the summer months and their presence serves as a reminder for residents to take standard precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Precautions to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Minimize time outdoors at dusk and dawn.
  • Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.
  • While outdoors, wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be tightly woven.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors.
  • Consider using mosquito repellent when it is necessary to be outdoors and always use them according to label instructions. The most effective repellents contain DEET or Picaridin. Oil of lemon eucalyptus is also effective for brief periods of exposure.
  • When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors (for example, 6% lasts approximately 2 hours and 20% for 4 hours); and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, to the hands of children or to infants less than 2 months.

Measures to reduce mosquitoes around the home:

  • Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires and tire swings.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of other containers, such as those used for recycling.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters.
  • Turn over objects that may trap water when not in use, such as wading pools and wheelbarrows.
  • Change water in bird baths on a weekly basis.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and cover pools when not in use.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate areas where water can collect on your property.

Additional resources for information on the West Nile virus and mosquito management can be found here.