By John Toole
---- — PELHAM — First it was West Nile virus, now Eastern equine encephalitis has been found in town.
Mosquito batches have tested positive for both diseases, prompting spraying to protect the public’s health.
“Spraying was performed by the town this morning after students arrived at school,” Superintendent Amanda Lecaroz said yesterday. “Windows were closed and kids kept inside until an hour after spraying as a precaution.”
At the outset of the Labor Day weekend, town officials announced EEE had shown up in testing of mosquitoes.
Municipal Pest Management Services is spraying, not only near schools, but also in parks and at Gibson Cemetery.
People with questions about spraying should call the company at 431-0008.
Selectmen first had the company spray in early August after West Nile virus turned up in mosquito testing.
Pelham was the first town to see West Nile in New Hampshire this year.
West Nile also has been found in Kingston and Sandown, according to the state Health and Human Services Department.
EEE is in Kingston, as well as Pelham.
Town officials are asking residents to wear long paints, long-sleeved shirts and socks when outdoors during evening and dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active.
They also are urging people to use insect repellent containing DEET to combat the bugs.
University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Service entomologist Alan Eaton last week characterized this season as average or slightly above average for West Nile and EEE.
“Late August and early September are typically the time of greatest risk,” Eaton said.
Dragon Mosquito Control owner Sarah MacGregor also described the season as typical of what is expected.
Dragon last week sprayed in Derry. The company previously sprayed in Londonderry, Sandown, Newton and Kingston.