By GEORGE FJELD
BRANDON- Mosquitos carrying West Nile virus (WN) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been found in Vermont from Alburg to Vergennes. Late summer is the peak time for these diseases, which can but rarely result in severe neurological symptoms and death. EEE and WN had not been found in sampled mosquitos in the last 3 years. Compounding this discovery is the fact that we have had such a wet summer that there has been none of the usual dropoff in mosquito numbers. Prevention of mosquito bites and further efforts to control adult mosquitos are more important. This was the hot topic at the Otter Creek Watershed Insect Control Board meeting on Wednesday, September 13th at the Brandon Senior Center. According to expert mosquito technician Will Mathis, there are many more places for mosquitos to breed in these conditions, such as wet lawns, discarded tires, and any standing water. Spraying of the adulticide permethrin has continued since early summer but has been frequently interrupted by rain and mechanical problems with the District’s aging equipment. Spot checks of frequent mosquito breeding grounds have shown large amounts of eggs. The District’s efforts will continue until the end of mosquito season.
In other business, the dedication of a memorial to Art Doty, the father of the local insect control district, is planned for September 30th from 9-11 a.m. in Crescent Park in the north end of Brandon. Speakers who knew Art, tributes, and the opportunity for audience members to tell stories of Art will be part of the celebration. Information about the OCWICD will be available. Coffee and doughnuts are planned.