DEEP Mosquito Management Program to Spray for Mosquitoes Carrying EEE in Mt. Misery Area of Pachaug State Forest
While No Human Cases of EEE so far this Season, Detections of EEE-carrying Mosquitoes in this Area Remain High as We Near End of Mosquito Season
(HARTFORD) — While the end of mosquito season is approaching, and there have been no cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in humans so far this season, the risk-level in the eastern part of the state for EEE virus remains elevated. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)’s Mosquito Management Program will be conducting spraying today in an area of Eastern Connecticut where mosquitoes containing EEE have continued to be detected at high levels, part of steps the program takes to minimize the potential for spread of the virus to humans.
The Mosquito Management Program will be spraying for mosquitoes carrying EEE in the Mt. Misery-area of Pachaug State Forest this afternoon. Entrances to the State Forest will be closed beginning at 2 p.m. today, and the forest and nearby roads will be closed for the evening, re-opening at 8 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 29.
The spraying is being conducted out of an abundance of caution, as mosquitoes carrying EEE continue to be detected in the Mt. Misery area at high levels. EEE has been detected in the following towns this year: Canterbury, Griswold, Hampton, Killingly, Ledyard, Mansfield, Plainfield, Stonington, Thompson, Tolland, Voluntown, Willington, and Woodstock. No human or animal cases have been reported in Connecticut in 2023.
“DEEP encourages residents to take appropriate precautions as we are still not through the mosquito season,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “With the presence of EEE in mosquitoes in eastern Connecticut and West Nile Virus in other areas of the state, it’s very important that residents minimize time outdoors during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are prevalent, and wear long sleeves and utilize bug spray if out at any point during those times.”
“Mosquitoes are still active, and residents should continue to take measures to prevent mosquito bites especially during episodes of unseasonably warm weather,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. “There is continued risk for mosquito-borne diseases until the first hard freeze when mosquito activity ends."
“Since there is no vaccine for EEE, protection from this virus depends on personal protective measures to decrease exposure to infected mosquitoes,” said Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD. “Symptoms from EEE include severe headache and neck stiffness which can result in nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.”
The insecticide the Mosquito Management Program will be spraying contains sumithrin and prallethrin. Campers have been notified of the spraying and have been advised to leave the area while spraying is conducted.
The following forest roads will be closed beginning at 2:00 p.m. today; DEP Trail 1, Gardner Rd., Stone Hill Rd., Trail 1, Lee Rd., Lawrence Rd., Trail 2, Rte. 49 North entrance. Road gates in these areas will be closed during this time, and visitors are advised to plan your visits and activities accordingly, avoiding the area while spraying is conducted. Campers have been advised to avoid the area until at least 7 p.m. Thursday night.
To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, residents should:
- Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Consider the use of mosquito repellents containing an EPA-registered active ingredient, including DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-methane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone when it is necessary to be outdoors.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are more active. Clothing should be light-colored and loose-fitting and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
- Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect infants when outdoors.