PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) on Tuesday announced that 85 mosquito samples from 30 traps set on Aug. 28 have tested negative for both West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
Mosquito-borne diseases are more prevalent in late summer and early fall, lasting until the first frost, according to environmental officials. Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that may carry diseases. Rhode Island has had three findings of EEE and two findings of WNV in mosquito samples so far this year.
Test results are still pending for mosquito traps set on Sept. 5.
As summer winds down, the Rhode Island DEM encourages the public to take these precautions:
- Remove anything around your house and yard that collects water.
- 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 collections water, and cover them.
- Change water in birdbaths at least two times a week and rinse out bird baths 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. Do not use bug spray on infants under 1 year of age.
- Minimize outdoor activity at dawn and 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 down and dusk.
- Avoid putting animals outside at dawn, dusk or during the night when mosquitoes are most active.