Mosquitoes in Andover have tested positive for West Nile virus, prompting town and regional officials to consider options to limit the mosquito population here. Last summer, officials sprayed an insecticide known as Anvil in parts of Andover following similar test results.
For more on this issue, see the July 26, 2012 print edition of the Townsman.
What follows below is the press release issued by town Health Director Tom Carbone.
Town Health Department release
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has notified the Andover Health Division that mosquitoes collected in Andover have tested positive for West Nile Virus. The mosquitoes were collected in the northern area of town, approximate to the Lawrence/Andover line. The City of Methuen has also been advised that a sample of mosquitoes from that community has also tested positive for the virus.
These are the first positive tests in the region this year, and show that West Nile Virus is endemic to the area. The two communities are members of the North East Massachusetts Mosquito Control District, and will be working together with the District over the next week to determine the best course of action in response to these findings.
Residents throughout the Merrimack Valley are advised to review their properties for any standing water, and to empty the water whenever possible. Birdbaths, children’s toys, stored tires, and clogged gutters are common areas where water can pool. Also, residents should ensure that air conditioner drip pans are empty, and that water features in landscaping are aerated with pumps.
Persons who find themselves outside at dusk and other times of high mosquito activity should continue to protect themselves from bites by wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts, and using a mosquito repellent with DEET; always follow the label on the repellent.
For more information, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Website at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/. Information is also available at Andover’s Memorial Hall Library and in the lobby of Andover Town Offices.