EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The latest round of mosquito testing in Rhode Island had no positive findings of West Nile virus (WNV) or Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), according to the R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM).
The DEM said it gathered 87 mosquito samples from 37 traps statewide during the week of Aug. 14. The results from the samples collected the week of Aug. 22 are still pending.
WNV was detected for the first time this year in Westerly on Aug. 9, while a sample from South Kingstown that same day was the state’s first detection of EEE.
So far this year, there have been 114 WNV findings in Connecticut and 54 findings in Massachusetts, which also reported its first human case last week. EEE has not yet been detected in either state.
The DEM also said that due to the recent heavy rainfall, the Asian tiger mosquito population is expected to increase since many dormant eggs have likely hatched.
The species became prevalent in Rhode Island last year.
Some key features of the Asian tiger mosquito:
- Daytime biter (found in shaded backyards)
- Black & white pattern
- Develops from eggs laid in artificial containers
- Known to transmit several diseases such as WNV
Residents are urged to remove any standing water from boats, wheelbarrows, pots, and other outdoor locations. It’s also a good idea to clear rain gutters and clear off any tarps.