Reminder: Mosquito spraying tonight in Southborough

A reminder to those of you in the Newton Street area that the Central Mass Mosquito Control Project will spray insecticide this evening after mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus were found last week. Here’s some more information on the spraying from CMMCP.

The Central Mass. Mosquito Control project will be spraying areas of Southboro around Newton Street in response to a finding of West Nile virus in a mosquito collection. This is the same type of truck-mounted spraying that occurs every summer. Streets will be sprayed after 7:30pm, and should conclude by midnight.

Generally, there is no need to relocate during mosquito control spraying. The pesticides have been evaluated for this use and found to pose minimal risks to human health and the environment when used according to label directions. Please close street facing windows if possible, and remain inside during the application and for 15-20 minutes afterwards. Accidental exposure is not expected to cause any health concerns in most people. Pets may be brought inside, but this type of pesticide is similar to ones used for flea and tick control. More information is available at

The spray area includes Autumn Hill Ln, Howes Ct, School St, Boston Rd, Ledge Hill Rd, St Marks St, Common St, Lyman St, Upland Rd, Cross St, Main St, Walker St, E Main St, Marlboro Rd, Whistler Ln, Framingham Rd, Newton St, Winchester St, Hillside Ave, Overlook Dr, and Wyeth Cir

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11 years ago

Does that mean that all the mosquitos from the East/North-East side of town will make their way South/South-West in town? With EEE and West Nile being found in towns South and West of us (Hopkinton/Westborough), I’m assuming that all mosquitos pose a similar risk, not just those from the small sample found near Newton Street. What or who determines where the Central Mass Mostquito Control Project will spray?

Tim Deschamps
11 years ago

Our surveillance site on the south side of town has not found any virus to date, but all residents should follow personal protection measures such as wearing repellents, scheduling outdoor activities after dawn and before dusk, and emptying containers in their yards weekly. The EEE findings in both Westboro & Hopkinton were both very close to the centers of each town, a few miles away from the Southboro border. The spray area is determined by several factors; virus found, mosquito species with virus, topography, mosquito population trends, current weather conditions, etc. This area is then sent to the Board of Health as a recommendation from our office. Spraying will reduce mosquito populations and associated risk, but will not lower it to zero. Southboro is at “High Risk” as determined by Mass. Public Health until a good hard freeze in the area.

11 years ago

Spray the whole town for God’s sake!

11 years ago
Reply to  LP

Completely agree!

Lower the risk to all community members by spraying the entire HIGH RISK area.

Tim Deschamps
11 years ago

The towns in this area went to high risk after the EEE victim in Westboro was identified. Unfortunately there was a month long delay in this identification. Had we known earlier then a more aggressive approach may have been recommended. We are now in a time frame where the weather plays an important role in whether or not spraying is effective. Lower temperatures at night reduces mosquito activity and thereby reducing the effectiveness of the spraying. Night time events are being rescheduled in many areas, and if people follow common sense protection measures they will lower their risk even further.

11 years ago

Appreciate all the information you have been providing.

With the drop in temperatures last evening, how effective was the spraying?
How are you safeguarding your family?
What changes have you made?
What were the factors that lead you to make these changes?
Should we be concerned during the day?
Should we be concerned if we are bitten?

How serious is this?

I certainly don’t want to overreact, but want to take measures that will enure the well being of my family.

Tim Deschamps
11 years ago
Reply to  JA

1). Last night did get cool, but we spray from sunset to about 11pm, so I’m confident the spraying was effective.
2). We have changed some of our outdoor habits, I walk the dogs before 7pm, we go inside when it starts to get dark, if I plan to be outside after dark I take a repellent with DEET with me.
3). I think you are asking for any changes in habits, and as outlined above, I am trying to avoid peak mosquito activity times, and use repellents as needed.
4). I made these changes because of the increase in risk.
5). During the day most mosquito species will rest, sunshine will dry them out and kill them. If you are in a shady area some species may be active, esp. the ones that develop in containers in your yard – empty or change the water!!
6). If you get bitten, don;t panic. EEE and WNV are rare diseases, and most people that get bitten thankfully don’t get sick. If you get a high fever, get sensitive to light, have a stiff neck and headache, these are signs of many serious diseases, including EEE and WNV. Get to a doctor.
7). It is a serious situation, but we are saying it is a cause for concern, not a reason to panic. Use personal protection measures and you will lower your risk significantly. I am available for questions at any time at

Mark Ford
11 years ago

Hi Tim,

I too echo the “thank yous” for your contributions. Cool having such an expert at hand.

My question is one of percentages…how many mosquitoes do you test in an area, and how many carry the EEE or West Nile Virus? It seems to me that the number of human infections is increasing…is that true or is it heightened awareness on my part? The consequences of EEE infection are so severe that I wonder why no human vaccine exists…and how hard it would be to develop one, given that there is apparently already one available for horses?

It’s too bad that when our kids get a mosquito bite these days, we must lapse into a “watchful waiting” state.

Tim Deschamps
11 years ago
Reply to  Mark Ford

Hi Mark, good questions: we have 3 traps running each week in town, both north and south sides. We also have traps in member communities of Marlboro, Westboro, Hopkinton & Ashland, so geographically we’re covered pretty well. Framingham is serviced by another mosquito district but they have a robust surveillance program in place. Our collections are sorted by species at our lab, and then species of concern are frozen and sent to the Public Health lab in Jamaica Plain for testing. Each collection (called a “pool”) is up to 50 mosquitoes – Mass. Public Health does not quantify at this time how many are infected, 1, 20 or all 50, but they do have the capability, but of course there is time and expense involved. I know there is interest in their part, as well as ours for this information, we’re hoping it may be incorporated in the information to come in future years (this information would help to develop a risk quotient called the “Minimum Infection Rate” or MIR). Infection with WNV and EEE has increased substantially this year, both in Mass & nationwide – all states in the greater 48 have reported West Nile Virus, either in mosquitoes, human or horses, or all of the above – this is unprecedented. We are on track for the worst year ever recorded. 2,636 case with 1,231 deaths to date (Sept. 11, 2012 data). While this may pale in comparison to influenza, there are usually good vaccines available for the flu – for WNV and EEE there is not – there’s no money in it for Big Pharm. Vaccine testing for animals has a significantly lower threshold in regards to adverse reactions, so they usually are less expensive to develop and sometimes made available if commercially viable. We must all do our part to use the personal protection measure I have been promoting until a good hard freeze. I was glad to see Southboro has followed our neighboring towns by cancelling outdoor activities.

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