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Biting mosquito season extends into fall in Delaware

DNREC encourages awareness of mosquito-borne diseases as biting mosquito season extends into fall.

The recent detection of West Nile virus in sentinel chickens monitored for mosquito-borne diseases by DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section serves notice that mosquitoes remain very active locally, especially during unseasonably warm weather we’re currently experiencing.

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Mosquito Control Section Administrator Dr. William Meredith says precautions should continue to be taken against mosquito bites that could transmit West Nile Virus.


"We wanted to alert that at this time of year for rather some complex scientific reasons, the possibility for transmitting West Nile Virus or another mosquito-borne disease, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, actually rises, even though people think well, the summer's coming to an end," said Dr. Meredith. "Not in terms of mosquito-borne disease transmission."


Delaware’s Division of Public Health Laboratory recently reported seven WNV-positive chickens from five of the Mosquito Control Section’s 20 monitoring stations throughout the state, four in New Castle County and one in Sussex County.


Since late July, a total of 19 sentinel chickens have tested West Nile-positive this year: 13 from New Castle County, five from Kent County, and one positive from Sussex County.


Dr. Meredith says precautions are common sense stuff to protect yourself against WNV and EEE.


"If you're outside, wear long-sleeve shirts, long-sleeve pants to reduce exposed skin. Use an insect repellent; use it appropriately, in accordance with all product label instructions. And avoid areas that are mosquito prone," said Meredith.