PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced 121 mosquito samples from 27 traps set on Monday, June 12, 2017 and 81 samples from 27 traps set on Monday, June 19 have tested negative for both West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
With WNV and EEE established throughout the state, the public is reminded to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and avoid bites, where possible. The following precautions are advised:
• Remove anything around your house and yard that collects water; just one cup of water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes. • Clean gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage, and repair holes in window screens. • Remove any water from unused swimming pools, wading pools, boats, planters, trash and recycling bins, tires, and anything else that collects water, and cover them. • Change the water in birdbaths at least two times a week, and rinse out birdbaths once a week. • Use EPA-approved bug spray with one of the following active ingredients: DEET (20-30% strength), picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol. • Minimize outdoor activity at dawn and at dusk when mosquitoes are most active. • Put insect netting over strollers and playpens. • Wear long sleeves and long pants whenever possible, particularly if you are outdoors during dawn and dusk.
Mosquitoes are trapped weekly by DEM and tested at the State Health Laboratories at the Rhode Island Department of Health. DEM issues weekly advisories on test results from late June through September, with additional reports as necessary. Test results from 27 traps being set today will be included in next week's report. Typically positive mosquito test results will trigger additional trapping to assess risk. As temperatures cool, mosquito populations will die out and testing will be suspended. To date, there have been no confirmed findings of WNV or EEE in mosquito samples trapped in Rhode Island this year.
Rhode Islanders are also reminded to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites when traveling to Zika-affected countries. Pregnant women and women who are considering becoming pregnant should not travel to countries with active transmission of Zika.
For more information about DEM divisions and programs, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.