Three Vermont communities have reported Friday that mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile virus, leaving many concerned in Hardwick, Brattleboro, and Weathersfield. The soggy weather has helped to drive up the numbers of these insects.
“We have collected about 30% more mosquitoes than we did last year at this point,” said Eliza Doncaster a Vector Management Program technician with Vermont Agency of Agriculture.
She and her team collect samples of mosquitoes all across the state, in all 896 testing pools.
“We come back once a week to collect with the aspirator. These are targeting culiseta melanura which is the main vector for Triple E,” said Doncaster.
“We are out collecting, we are in the swamps collecting mosquitoes. They’re all sent over the Vermont Department of Health for testing,” said Doncaster.
No cases have been reported of ‘Triple E’ in Vermont, but three cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed.
“If it’s possible, I know it’s hot but to wear long pants, long sleeve shirts always wear an EPA approved insect repellent,” said Doncaster.
Since 2011, eight Vermonters have contracted the virus. No cases have been reported for 2017.
Certain plans will also help keep these pests away.
“There are a lot of wives tales out there for various plants that work. Citronella which is a scented geranium works probably the best. We sold out of that by the first of July,” said Chris Conant the Co-Owner of Claussen’s Florist & Green House.
Other plants that will do the job includes basil and sage.
“Any of these pungent smelling herbs are what really, really draws the mosquitoes away from you,” said Conant.
Reducing any standing water in your yard will also cut down on areas where mosquitoes can lay their eggs, and reproduce.
“Any of the ornamental grasses will work, help soak up. Grasses tend to pick up a lot of moisture,” said Conant.
Also empty any rain water that collects in buckets, to old tires. That way your yard can stay mosquito free.