If you’re going outdoors this weekend, as many of us will, you’ll want to protect yourself against mosquito bites. The state Department of Environmental Management is reporting the largest crop of mosquitos in at least 21 years.
The reason: heavy rains last month. The warm, dry air mass that’s with us now is slowly killing the mosquito population, but the DEM’s Alan Gettman said they’ll be bad this weekend, particularly at fireworks shows.
The state Department of Environmental Management will distribute mosquito larvicide to Rhode Island communities starting Tuesday. Cities and towns use the product to kill mosquitos in catch basins, where they most commonly breed.
The state has been supplying cities and towns with mosquito larvicide ever since West Nile virus emerged 14 years ago. They use an environmentally-friendly product that comes in a briquette, about the size of two ice cubes. Town officials put one in each storm water catch basin and it kills larvae for six months.
Westerly residents may be awakened to the sounds of helicopters overhead Thursday morning. Continuing a practice begun in 1997, the town of Westerly is conducting aerial spraying against mosquitos.
The targeted areas are portions of Chapman Swamp and the swamp area adjacent to Hespar Drive.
The town uses Bti, a naturally occurring bacterium which prevents larval mosquitoes from developing into adults. The state Department of Environmental Management says it safe to humans and the environment.
Spraying begins Thursday at 7:00am and continues through 2:00pm.
The RI Department of Environmental Management says in a statement today that a weekly sampling of mosquitoes collected from a swamp in Westerly tested positive for West Nile virus. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hermetically seal yourself, your kids, and your pets inside until the first frost. But the presence of West Nile and other diseases transmitted by so-called “vectors” like mosquitoes and ticks in our area should mean you take a few precautions before venturing into the great outdoors.