SANDOWN – Though the weather hasn’t quite turned enough this spring to make mosquitoes a part of everyday life, they are inevitable, and this week Sandown will begin its annual monitoring for the insects.
Dragon Mosquito Control has handled the mosquito surveillance, capture and kill in town for years, and this week the company started their early spring work of monitoring places that mosquitoes like to put their offspring.
Swamps, marshes, woodland pools, ditches, storm drains and other shallow depressions where mosquitoes like to wallow in the stagnant water will be checked and treated with a larvacide if necessary.
It’s the first step in a long season of keeping the mosquito numbers down because they can carry and transfer serious diseases.
Dragon’s Sarah MacGregor said that while it’s always difficult to predict the kind of summer mosquitoes and the diseases they carry will have, as heavy snowfalls melt there’s a good chance that there will be plenty of breeding pools available.
“If winter ever releases its icy grip, we might see mosquitoes in May,” she said.
As the season winds along, Dragon will begin sending trapped mosquitoes to the State labs for testing. The state begins testing mosquitoes for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus in July. If EEE or West Nile Virus is found, emergency spray treatments may be conducted, as they have been several times in recent years. Likely sites for spraying are both North and Central schools, the Miller Recreation Area, Edward Garvey Recreation Facility and the Angle Pond Grove Camping Area.
“It’s difficult to predict what the summer will be like,” MacGregor said, noting there were three human cases of EEE reported last summer – in Manchester, Conway and Hopkinton. Two were fatal.
Additionally, horses in the area were found to have EEE, as well as a mule in Candia.
“That tells us that it’s still a very active disease in our area,” MacGregor said. “It all will play out in the water at first, then we’ll see how the summer pans out. If it’s a rainy summer, we tend to see more EEE. But last summer was dry and we still saw EEE. We have to be ready for more EEE.”
Those who do not want their wetlands treated may use Dragon’s No-Spray Registry online at www.DragonMosquito.com/No-Spray-Registry or write to Dragon Mosquito Control, P.O. Box 46, Stratham, NH 03885. Be sure to include name, physical address, phone number and a description of the property with boundaries.
Residents who would like to have their stagnant water checked for mosquitoes may call Dragon’s office at 734-4114 or email Info@DragonMosquito.com to request the free service.
Any further questions about spray dates, location, materials used, precautions or other concerns should go to Dragon Mosquito by phone or email.