Mosquitoes in Watertown Test Positive for West Nile Virus, Tips for Avoiding Them

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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Watertown Health Department that mosquitoes in Watertown have tested positive for West Nile Virus, the Watertown Health Department announced.

The Watertown Health Department sent out the following release:

This is not a surprise since most of the geographic area around Watertown has had species of mosquitoes testing positive. This is also consistent with having warm and intermittent wet weather.

How can you prevent these mosquitoes from breeding on your property?

The East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project indicates that “homeowners should be aware that once a container is inundated with rainwater in the summer, it becomes a likely site for a mosquito to lay eggs on the water surface. If the water remains in the container for more than a week, the larvae that emerge from the eggs will have enough time to develop into their adult flying stage. It is not unusual
to see hundreds of mosquito larvae in as little as one pint of water. Once mosquito larvae mature and emerge from the water, their likely targets will be the owners of the yard and their neighbors.”

The Health Department urges that standing water be emptied from containers, pots, garbage cans, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, old tires, clogged gutters and any other areas on your property.

What is Watertown doing to protect you?

Larvicide has now been applied to over 3,700 catch basins in Town to prevent hatching of new mosquitoes.

For more information about mosquito control, visit the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project at virus information is on the MDPH website, at

Spraying to kill mosquitoes may be done, only if necessary, and if recommended by the State. Every effort will be made to notify residents before spraying if this needs to be done.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Avoid exposure to mosquitoes! Be aware of increased mosquito activity between dusk and dawn.

If you must be outdoors when mosquitoes are active, wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and socks.

Cover baby carriages and playpens that are outdoors with mosquito netting.

Use a mosquito repellent when outdoors! Repellents that contain DEET are the most effective, although DEET should not be used on infants. The Centers for Disease Control also recommends products which contain the chemical Picaridin, found in Cutter Advanced; or products containing the oil of lemon eucalyptus. Alternatives to DEET that can also be effective for a limited duration of one
hour are: citronella; Avon Skin-So-Soft Plus; Buzz Away; neem oil; and soybean oil.

If you need help selecting a repellent, one useful tool is available at

Avoid areas that tend to have a lot of mosquitoes, such as wetlands or swampy areas.

Fix holes in window and door screens.

Remove standing or stagnant water in your yard where mosquitoes breed. Check containers, pots, garbage cans, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, old tires, clogged gutters, etc., remove water and invert containers. Ensure that swimming pools are not abandoned and left with standing water.

Repair leaking pipes and outdoor faucets.

Keep your grass cut short and bushes near your house trimmed so that mosquitoes can’t hide.

For further information or to report stagnant water (more than 10 days) or other complaints, please contact the Watertown Health Department at 617-972-6446.

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