With summer approaching and all the news surrounding the Zika virus, the Trumbull Health Department wants to remind residents what they can do to prevent mosquito bites. There are many different types of mosquitos around the world and they all carry different viruses. The mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus, are currently not found in Connecticut. To see more on areas with active Zika transmission, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html .

Since the primary mode of transmission for Zika and West Nile virus is by mosquito bites, regular mosquito management and prevention is suggested even in areas without Zika. Using a repellent with DEET is highly recommended. Here are suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on what residents can do to control mosquitoes outside their home:

  • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.

  • Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.

  • For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.

  • Use larvicides to kill young mosquitoes in large containers of water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out.

Inside control

Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid areas like under patio furniture, or under the carport or garage.

If you have a septic tank, repair cracks or gaps. Cover open vent or plumbing pipes. Use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.

Here’s what residents can do to control mosquitoes inside their home:

  • Install or repair and use window and door screens. Do not leave doors propped open.

  • Use air conditioning when possible.

  • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like vases and flowerpot saucers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.

Mosquito dunks

In addition to the source reduction methods listed, the Trumbull Health Department will be offering free Mosquito Dunks to Trumbull residents while supplies last. The mosquito dunks will kill mosquito larvae in containers and bodies of water that cannot be removed or emptied.  They are effective for up to 30 days.  

Residents will need to contact the Health Department for additional information.

Zika in Connecticut

Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should avoid travel to areas where Zika virus is circulating locally among mosquitoes. If travel cannot be avoided women should speak with their doctor.  Male partners should also inform their doctor of travel and both should practice prevention measures for preventing mosquito bites

The Connecticut State Laboratory are testing people for Zika if they have traveled to an infected area and are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, or if their sexual partner has been to an infected area and they are trying to conceive.

The mosquito which carries Zika is a daytime biter and only breeds in clean sitting water like old tires, buckets, garbage pales, and recycling containers. Primary prevention depends on avoiding mosquito bites.  

In Connecticut, surveillance for mosquito-borne viruses is part of an integrated approach to mosquito management conducted by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) which maintains a network of mosquito-trapping stations located throughout the state with one located in Trumbull. The information obtained includes mosquito species, abundance in the community, seasonal distribution of mosquito vectors and the proportion of virus infected mosquitos.

For up to date information on Zika visit: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/ or the Trumbull Health Department: http://www.trumbull-ct.gov/thd.   To contact the Trumbull Health Department, please call 203-452-1030.