OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department announced today (August 7) that five additional samples of mosquitoes have tested positive for the Eastern equine encephalitis virus.
Four of the samples were collected near the health department’s field station at Toad Harbor Swamp in West Monroe and one was collected in the town of Hastings.
The health department continues to work with the New York State Department of Health to complete the necessary steps for aerial spraying, to control the virus by reducing the mosquito population.
The schedule will be announced when plans are confirmed.
In the meantime, people are advised to continue using insect repellents when participating in outdoor activities, wearing protective clothing such as long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes when possible, and limiting outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
Insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective.
Repellents which contain permethrin are meant for clothing and gear and should not be applied directly to the skin.
Read the product label for repellents and follow package instructions.
To reduce mosquito habitat around the home, residents are advised to:
– Repair or replace window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside and reduce or eliminate all standing water.
– Dispose of old tires. Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site and are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. Call the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details.
– Empty or dispose of pails, cans, flower pots, and similar water-holding containers.
– Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
– Clear roof gutters and be sure they drain properly.
– Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.
– Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs, and drain pool covers.
– Change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.
– Remove leaf debris from yards and gardens and clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
– Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
For more information about protecting your family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or visit the New York State Department of Health website at http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2731/.