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Stratford Launches Larvicide Program To Fight Mosquitoes

Stratford has begun larvicide efforts to fight the spread of West Nile virus.
Stratford has begun larvicide efforts to fight the spread of West Nile virus. Photo Credit: File

STRATFORD, Conn. – It’s National Mosquito Control Week, and Stratford has stepped up its efforts to combat the pesky — and sometimes disease-spreading — insect.

In an effort to prevent illnesses such as West Nile virus carried by mosquitoes, the Stratford Health Department has teamed with the Town’s Public Works Department to treat the town’s 5,283 catch basins with a non-toxic larvicide.

“We treated all of Stratford’s catch basins last week, and will continue through the summer season, as the funding permits,” said Dr. Christina Senft-Batoh, the town’s conservation administrator.

All residents need to be vigilant about reducing standing water on their properties and help reduce areas where mosquitoes can breed, she said.

The Health Department will work with the conservation administrator to apply larvicide when a human health threat exists.

Residents can also purchase larvicide briquettes or “dunks” at local hardware stores.

“We’ll be tracking mosquito surveillance data from the state agricultural stations located here in Town at Beacon Point and Beaver Dam Road,” said Andrea Boissevain, the town’s health director.

Mosquitoes will be collected and tested for WNV, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Zika through October.

Here are precautions that should be taken to avoid mosquito bites and to decrease mosquito activity:

  • Rid your property of standing water. Mosquito lay eggs in containers such as barrels and birdbaths.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, even those that are not being used.
  • Clean clogged gutters.
  • Fix holes in your screens.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors. Clothing should be light-colored and made of tightly woven materials.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure.
  • Protect small babies with netting when outdoors.
  • Considering using mosquito repellent, as directed, when outdoors.
  • Repellents made with 20 percent to 30 percent of the active ingredient DEET are effective; however, do not use on children under age 2.

For more information on West Nile Virus, Zika, and mosquito control, visit the Stratford Health Department’s website at www.townofstratford.com/health or the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station website at www.ct.gov/mosquito . For the most up-to-date mosquito information across Connecticut, call the toll-free number 1-866-WNV-LINE (1-866-968-5463).

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