BOSTON (CBS) – It’s becoming a familiar sight and sound in many Massachusetts communities, homeowners taking matters into their own hands and are hiring landscapers to spray their properties for mosquito control.
Andrea Shamoian of Wayland says with the outbreak of cases of eastern equine encephalitis she’s now afraid to go outside. “I’m nervous about coming out, I’m even nervous now with the door open,” she said. “I get bites, I can’t even water the plants outside.”
Wayland is at high risk for EEE and Shamoian’s property is dense with trees and even wetlands, so she hired Lynch Plant Healthcare for spraying. “That is definitely a breeding ground for mosquitoes, it’s a high risk property,” said company spokesman Eric Taylor. “Spraying will offer a dramatic reduction in the mosquito population.”
These days Jackie Joseph keeps the playing indoors with 14 month old Benjamin. She also hired Lynch to spray her yard living in Sudbury, a town at critical risk for EEE, after five year old Sophia Garabedian of Sudbury contracted the disease. “For us it’s taking every measure we can to keep our yard safe and our house safe,” Jackson said. “Bugs can get in the house, it’s scary.”
As the summer winds down it tends to be a slower time for tree care companies, but in recent weeks Taylor says the calls have been pouring in with as many as 20 a day requesting their services.
With a sprawling campus, Saint Mark’s school in Southboro has never sprayed for mosquitoes before, but this year is different. Even outdoor sports and activities end at 6:00 p.m. “We sprayed all nine athletic fields, the perimeter of buildings, interior quads and gardens where students hand out,” said director of facilities Sandra Duran.
While communities have been proactive with their own spraying many property owners have decided to take risk reduction one step further and fill in any gaps. Much like bug spray, they believe it’s another tool to guard against EEE.