HAVERHILL — Mayor James Fiorentini has ordered mosquito control spraying tonight, Thursday, Sept. 23, starting at 7:15 p.m. in the northeastern section of the city due to a pool of mosquitoes that tested positive in that area for West Nile Virus.
Trucks from Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control District will begin spraying the insecticide Zenivex E4 RTM starting in an area of the city bounded by Main Street to Kenoza Avenue to Amesbury Road to Kenoza Street to Center Street to Millvale Road to East Broadway to Old Ferry Road to Lincoln Avenue to Water Street then back to Main Street.
The Zenivex E4 RTM solution is rated as extremely low toxicity to humans and animals and is approved for use over agricultural crops intended for human consumption, the mayor said.
Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that residents in the spraying areas keep their windows closed and their pets inside during spraying hours, which are from 7:15 to 10:30 p.m. The product only works for about 15 minutes in the air and then dissipates with no residue. The spray travels about 150 feet on either side of the distribution trucks.
Spraying will take place on public roads only and will avoid any schools in the target area. Automated calls to residents in the spray area will be going out Thursday afternoon, the mayor said.
The Mosquito Control group notified the city on Thursday morning that a pool of mosquitoes collected on Sept. 20 within the spray area had tested positive for West Nile Virus.
Officials are not recommending at this time that any nighttime events be cancelled.
Fiorentini is urging the public to take precautions against mosquito bites including: Using DEET mosquito repellent; wearing long sleeves and long pants; and avoiding outdoor activities from dusk to dawn. Residents are also urged to check their properties for unattended containers of standing water, which may attract mosquitoes.
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause illness ranging from a mild fever to more serious disease like encephalitis or meningitis. It was first identified in the United States in 1999.
The city’s Health Department along with the Northeast Mosquito Control Program will conduct additional monitoring and testing of mosquitos over the next few days. Additional larviciding of fresh-water wetlands and flooded areas will take place in the coming weeks to reduce the hatching of mosquitoes in the near future.
More information is available at nemassmosquito.org.