Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus in a sample of mosquitoes collected in the City of Pittsfield. The Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project regularly monitors the larval and adult mosquito population and tests for mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus. 

To reduce the mosquito population and potential for infection, truck-mounted mosquito spray application is scheduled for 10 p.m. to midnight Thursday Aug. 3, on roads within a one-mile radius of Route 41and Route 20 intersection (Route 41 to Richmond line; Route 20 to and including Callahan Drive; Cloverdale and Branch streets; Southpond Drive, Thistledown, Scace, Sunny Croft, Windmere).

A map of scheduled spray area is available on the City of Pittsfield website at www.cityofpittsfield.org/HealthDepartment.  In the event of inclement weather, spraying may be rescheduled for Friday night (Aug. 4).  This application will not leave significant residue and is not persistent in the environment. 

West Nile Virus is most commonly spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. The best measures of protection from mosquito borne illness include the following:

  • When outdoors, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and socks.
  • Use a repellent with DEET, according to the instructions on the product label
  • Keep mosquitoes out of your house by repairing holes in screens and make sure screens fit tightly to doors and windows
  • Schedule outdoor events to avoid the hours between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active
  • Remove areas of standing water around your home to eliminate sources of mosquito breeding

Residents may request to be excluded from pesticide application by submitting an Exclusion Request Form which can be obtained at http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/pesticides/mosquito/pesticide-application-exclusions.html.  The form is also available by contacting the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project at 413-447-9808 or berkmc@bcn.net.

For more information about mosquito borne viruses call the Pittsfield Health Department at 499-9411 or visit The City of Pittsfield website at www.cityofpittsfield.org or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website at http://www.mass.gov/dph/wnv