AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – The mosquito population is very high this year, and the number of mosquito samples testing positive for West Nile Virus continues to increase locally, including a registered positive sample in Springfield this week.

Experts say that the only way to keep yourself safe from insect-borne illnesses is to simply avoid mosquito bites. 22News spoke with Braman Termite & Pest Elimination and they say tips to avoid bites include:

  • Avoid spending extended periods of time outdoors from dusk to dawn; the time when mosquitoes are most active
  • Wear long clothing to keep mosquitoes away from your skin
  • Use EPA-approved insect repellents
  • Regularly empty out and clean bird baths, unused flower pots, and other containers that may keep standing water
    • will prevent mosquitoes from breeding

“So this summer has been really bad with all of the rain so it’s been like replenishing all of the water in those tiny little areas,” Natasha Wright, an Entomologist at Braman Termite & Pest Elimination explained. “It seems like a worse year because it’s been really hot, they develop faster in hot weather. It’s been really wet, a little bit worse than the last couple of years I’ve been here.”

Most people who are infected with West Nile Virus do not experience any symptoms of illness but those who do often experience a headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and body aches. In most of these cases the individual with mild symptoms will recover on their own after a few days or several weeks.

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Heath Kalb is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Heath on X @HeathKalb and view his bio to see more of his work.