A simple positive test for an infected mosquito this fall will not immediately lead to the spraying of insecticides in Hamilton, the Board of Health has decided.
The decision was actually made for the first time in April but reaffirmed again when the board met on Wednesday night at Hamilton Town Hall.
Mosquito-borne illnesses includes West Nile Virus and Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE.
Instead, the board said it will push for residents to take personal precautions, including using bug repellent, wearing clothes that cover exposed skin and making sure that standing water is removed from residents’ yards.
Hamilton is one of just a handful of communities on the North Shore and in eastern Massachusetts where an infected mosquito has not been found. Lindle Wilnow, chairman of the Board of Health, noted that “everyone around” has seen a positive test for a mosquito-borne illness. He suggested that Hamilton residents assume there are infected mosquitoes in town.
“Spraying may give people a false sense of security,” he said, adding that spray may kill some, but not all, mosquitoes.
Additionally, the spray will kill mosquitoes but there is no evidence that is reduces the presence of disease, said Susan Wilfahrt, a Board of Health member.
“If it gets more severe than that we will take it on a case-by-case basis,” Wilnow said, adding that the Board of Health would meet and vote to conduct spraying instead of simply conducting spraying after an infected mosquito is found.
Spraying is conducted by the Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control and Wetlands Management District, which Hamilton is a member and pays annual dues.
Health Agent Leslie Whalen said that there are two mosquito traps in the town and the mosquito district sends reports to the town once a week on the results of test conducted from mosquitos from those traps.