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General Statements from the State Reclamation & Mosquito Control Board – 2014


 

Epi week #42; Oct. 12-18, 2014

 

General Statement:

In our last official surveillance week of the 2014 season, mosquito and arbovirus activity remained low. There were 22 pools submitted (from Central Middlesex Mosquito Control Project and the DPH State Lab), covering 4 counties (Bristol, Middlesex, Plymouth, and Worcester). While there were two new arbovirus cases confirmed in mammals this week, they were each contracted at least two weeks ago. That said, not all parts of the state have received a killing frost this season, meaning that mosquitoes are still active in some areas and could be arbovirus-positive.

Total pools submitted in 2014: 5038 (132,776 mosquitoes). A full analysis and comparison with past years will be included in the annual report, due in early 2015.

Weather:

For Epi Week 42, temperatures were above average for this time of year, with several days in the high and even low 70s. Precipitation received averaged about 1”, with some parts of Berkshire and Worcester counties receiving more than 2.5”.

 

 


 

Epi week #41; Oct. 5-11, 2014

 

General Statement:

In our second to last surveillance week of the 2014 season, arbovirus activity remained low, as did surveillance activity. There were 17 pools submitted (from Central Middlesex Mosquito Control Project and the DPH State Lab), covering 5 counties (Bristol, Middlesex, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester). While mosquitoes are still active and could be arbovirus-positive, cool evening temperatures have made it unfeasible to perform any pesticide applications.

 

Weather:

For Epi Week 41, temperatures were close to average for this time of year, except for mid-week where they rose into the high 60s and even low 70s in some eastern parts of the state. Some areas of the western part of the state received frost right before this temperature jump. Precipitation was minimal for all but the western part of the state, where parts of Berkshire, Franklin and Hampshire County received close to 2 inches of rain.

 

Epi Week 42 is predicted to bring late summer weather, with highs above 70’F through Saturday and unseasonably warm lows in the 60s. Rain is expected mid-late week courtesy of a powerful cold front passing through. The first hurricane of the Atlantic storm season, Gonzalo, is powerful but not expected to impact the Northeast (thanks to that cold front keeping it away).

 

 


 

Epi week #40; Sept. 28- Oct. 4, 2014

 

General Statement:

Arbovirus activity remained low this week, as did surveillance activity, with 37 pools submitted. Only Central Middlesex and Suffolk Mosquito Control Projects submitted samples this week, though including State Lab submissions this covered 7 counties (Bristol, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester). Cool evening temperatures have made it unfeasible to perform any pesticide applications.

 

Weather:

Epi Week 40 Precipitation was once again minimal throughout most of the state, though the east coast and southeastern portion of the state received an average of 1.5 inches and the outer Cape received 2-4 inches. Epi Week 41 is predicted to bring above-average temperatures and precipitation, but also the first frost for Berkshire, Hampden, and northern Worcester County at the beginning of the week.

 

 

 


 

Epi week #39; Sept. 21-27, 2014

 

General Statement:

Arbovirus activity remained low this week, with only 135 pools submitted. Cool evening temperatures have made it unfeasible to do ULV spraying and have kept surveying activities down to a minimum.

 

During Epi Week 38, a single male Aedes albopictus was discovered in a gravid trap in Charlestown, a part of Boston (Suffolk County). Supplemental trapping in the area by both DPH and the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project, using both gravid and BG Sentinel traps, did not turn up any additional specimens. Also during Epi Week 38, Central Middlesex Mosquito Control Project announced that DPH confirmed 3 egg collections of Aedes albopictus from ovitraps set up in mid-August in the town of Ayer. This is definitely a species we’ll be paying more attention to next season.

 

Weather:

Epi Week 39 featured temperatures more typical of June or July than the latter half of September, with 1 or 2 days where highs were just a few degrees shy of 90’F. With a few exceptions (Ware, and parts of the Cape and Nantucket), last week continued the trend of being much drier than normal. Reservoirs are drying up (or are already dry) and unirrigated lawns have turned brown in many areas.

 

 


 

Epi week #38; Sept. 14-20, 2014

 

General Statement:

Both general mosquito activity and arbovirus activity remained low this week. Cool evening temperatures have prevailed, keeping surveying activities down to a minimum and making ULV spraying unfeasible. For comparison, Epi Week 38 mosquito pool submissions are down 17% from 2013 and 25% from 2012. WNV positive pools are down 83% from 2013 while EEEv positive pools are down 50%.

 

Weather:

Epi Week 38 featured temperatures that were well below average, with some areas receiving their first significant frost/freeze on September 19th. Norwood (Norfolk County), for example, had an overnight low of 28’F that night, with other municipalities experiencing overnight lows in the lower 30s. There was little precipitation across the state, with most areas picking up less than a tenth of an inch of rain.

 

Epi Week 39 is expected to be a bit warmer than Epi Week 38, with the possibility of a little more precipitation (early estimate = average of 0.35 to 0.75” for the period). For Epi Week 40, models are starting to signal the development of a large east coast ridge, which would provide us with an extended period of well above normal temperatures. This same pattern will keep us drier than normal until at least the beginning of the second week of October.

 

No precipitation map was available this week.

 


 

Epi week #37; Sept. 7-13, 2014

 

General Statement:

Arbovirus activity dropped this week, with numbers of EEEv- and WNV-positive mosquito pools remaining far below those found in 2013 and 2012. Districts/Projects with arbovirus-positive mosquitoes have continued to implement standard control responses, including larviciding of catch basins and ULV truck spraying of adulticide in a wide area around positive finds. However, those activities are winding down for the season, and several Districts/Projects have ended treatments except for emergency responses (and even those will be dependent on nighttime temperatures being high enough).

 

Weather:

Epi Week 37 featured temperatures that were much more typical for early September, and averaged near normal for this time of year. Precipitation generally ranged from about 0.25” to 0.50” for the period, which is below normal.

 

Epi Week 38 will feature almost “Octoberlike” temperatures by the end of that week. By Thursday, some areas will be hard pressed to crack the 60’F degree mark for the daytime high, which is a dramatic reversal from the low 90’s recorded less than two weeks ago. Additionally, with clear skies, calm winds, and low dewpoints, some areas will likely experience their first frost of the season. Little to no precipitation is expected for the period. While Hurricane Eduard (a Category 1 hurricane) is now racing northeast through the central Atlantic, it poses no threat to the U.S.

 

 


 

Epi week #36; August 31 – Sept. 6, 2014

 

General Statement:

Arbovirus activity rose this week, as it typically does in early September, but numbers of EEEv- and WNV-positive mosquito pools remain far below those in 2013 and 2012. The warm temperatures that were felt most of Epi Week 36 did come with increased mosquito activity for some parts of the state. Districts/Projects with arbovirus-positive mosquitoes have continued to implement standard control responses, including larviciding of catch basins and ULV truck spraying of adulticide in a wide area around positive finds. However, those activities are winding down for the season, with several Districts/Projects announcing that the treatments have ended this week except for emergency responses (and even those will be dependent on nighttime temperatures being high enough).

 

Weather:

The first week of September ended with temperatures nearly 10◦F degrees above normal (those temperatures would have been considered substantially above normal even by late-July standards). The total number of “cooling degree days” (a way of relating the day’s temperature to the energy demands for air conditioning) for 2014 now stands at 729, which is 38 days above normal from the period of January 1 through September 8th.

 

The period was relatively dry as well, with the exception of localized storms that wreaked havoc on some parts of the state. Worcester experienced a tornado Sept. 1, and a cold front Sept. 6 brought a line of heavy rain across MA and NH, resulting in microbursts that cause downed trees and power lines in Franklin County (Leyden, Bernardston) and Essex County (Ipswich).

 

 


 

Epi week #35; August 24-30, 2014

 

General Statement:

Mosquito activity remained low this week. Totals for both EEE- and WNV-positive mosquito pools continue to remain below 2013 and 2012 levels. It remains to be seen whether the upcoming stretch of warm weather will lead to increased mosquito activity.

 

Districts with arbovirus-positive mosquitoes have continued to implement standard control responses, including some larviciding of catch basins and ULV truck spraying of adulticide in a wide area around positive findings.

 

Weather:

Epi Week 35 was warmer than average for most of the state, but it was also extremely dry, with only a few isolated areas receiving significant rainfall. Epi Week 36 will start off with extremely hot and humid weather, and in some cases even overnight lows will be in excess of the typical high temperature for the day. Temperatures for the month of August were 1.5 to 2’F below average, with rainfall in many parts of the state at an inch or more below normal. Numbers for the summer as a whole show close to average temperatures statewide, but much variation in precipitation, with Boston over 1.5” below normal, and Worcester over 1.7” above normal.

 

 


 

Epi week #34; August 17-23, 2014

 

General Statement:

Mosquito activity remained low this week, likely due to cool temperatures. The cool evening temperatures also likely impeded the collection process for many traps. Totals for both EEE- and WNV-positive mosquito pools continue to remain below 2013 and 2012 levels, with only 26 WNV-positive pools and 13 EEE-positive pools so far in 2014. For comparison, note that at this time last year, we had 160 WNV-positive pools, and in 2012 (when aerial sprays were ordered) there were 195 WNV-positive pools and 213 EEE-positive pools.

 

Districts with arbovirus-positive mosquitoes have continued to implement standard control responses, including larviciding of catch basins and ULV truck spraying of adulticide in a wide area around positive finds.

Weather:

 

Epi Week 34 was much cooler and drier than normal, with most locations receiving less than 0.25”of rain, and some areas experiencing overnight lows in the low 50s. Epi Week 35 is expected to be a “return to summer” with substantially higher than normal temperatures that will feel more like mid-July. A cold front will arrive by Thursday, August 28th but temperatures are expected to remain above normal. Rainfall will be limited to scattered thunderstorms. The state as a whole will round out August with temperatures 1.5 to 2’F below average.

 

 


 

Epi week #33; August 10-16, 2014

 

General Statement:

Totals for both EEE- and WNV-positive mosquito pools continue to remain below 2013 and 2012 levels, with only 22 WNV-positive pools and 12 EEE-positive pools so far in 2014. For an indication of how low arbovirus levels have been compared to recent years, note that at this time last year, we had 124 WNV-positive pools, and in 2012 (when aerial sprays were ordered) there were 147 WNV-positive pools and 199 EEE-positive pools.

 

Districts with arbovirus-positive mosquitoes have continued to implement standard control responses, including larviciding of catch basins and ULV truck spraying of adulticide.

 

Weather:

The map indicates that the I-91 belt took the brunt of the rainstorm that hit Wed., August 13th, with some parts of southern Franklin County receiving over 4.25” of rain. The first half of August featured slightly lower than normal temperatures. The heat originally forecast for this week got pushed to the southern/mid- Atlantic states, so Epi Week 34 is expected to be drier and cooler than normal. Epi Week 35 is expected to have more of the same.

 

 


 

Epi week #32; August 3-9, 2014

 

General Statement:

Totals for both EEE- and WNV-positive mosquito pools continue to remain far below 2013 and 2012 levels, with only 11 WNV-positive pools and 7 EEE-positive pools so far in 2014. For an indication of how low arbovirus levels have been compared to recent years, note that at this time last year, we had 80 WNV-positive pools, and in 2012 (when aerial sprays were ordered) there were 99 WNV-positive pools and 108 EEE-positive pools.

 

Districts with arbovirus-positive mosquitoes have continued to implement standard control responses, including larviciding of catch basins and ULV truck spraying.

 

Weather:

Unlike previous weeks, there was a significant lull in thunderstorm activity across the state for Epi Week 32. The week was notably dry for most of the state except for Cape Cod and lower Plymouth County. Temperatures were slightly cooler than normal for early August.

 

Epi Week 33 is expected to have slightly below normal temperatures, with low to moderate humidity. Precipitation levels for the week are likely to be at or above the average total for the entire month of August courtesy of heavy soaking rains anticipated for Wednesday, August 13th.

 

 


 

Epi week #31; July 27-August 2, 2014

 

General Statement:

Totals for both EEE- and WNV-positive mosquitoes continue to remain far below 2013 and 2012 levels, and populations of floodwater species remain low despite multiple extreme rainfall events across the state. Districts with arbovirus-positive mosquitoes have been implementing standard control responses, including larviciding of catch basins and ULV truck spraying. Levels of Coquillettidia perturbans in Plymouth County continue to be off the charts.

 

Weather:

For Epi Week 31, temperatures were below normal by late July standards. Precipitation was generally either at or slightly below normal for the period. However, localized thunderstorms produced extreme rainfall in parts of Middlesex County on August 1st, with unofficial rainfall reports of 4-5 inches of rain coming in from the Framingham, Sudbury and Wayland region and (though the map also does not reflect this) Berkshire County Mosquito Control reported up to 11 inches of rain in some parts of the county.

 

Despite the cooler trend towards the end of the month, July 2014 finished above normal temperature wise, with only 4 days where temperatures exceeded 90’F. This past month did feature slightly to well above normal precipitation region wide, with some extreme one-day rainfall totals resulting from localized thunderstorms.

 

 


 

Epi week #30; July 20-26, 2014

 

General Statement:

Following the detection of the first EEE-positive mosquito pools of the 2014 season in Epi Week 29, supplemental testing in Plymouth and Bristol Counties revealed no new EEE-positive mosquito pools. There was also one WNV-positive mosquito pool found in Belmont (Middlesex County). Totals for both EEE- and WNV-positive mosquitoes remain far below 2013 and 2012 levels. Districts with arbovirus-positive mosquitoes have been implementing standard control responses, including larviciding of catch basins and ULV truck spraying.

 

Weather:

Temperatures were cooler at the beginning and end of Epi Week 30, and warmer than average in the middle of the week, resulting in overall temperatures close to the average for most parts of the state. Most of the state saw at least some rain last week, with an isolated weather event dropping over 4 inches of rain near Orange, with over two inches of rain in Berkshire County and adjacent Hampden County, and large portions of the eastern part of the state (except for the lower Cape) experiencing 2 or more inches.

 

 


 

Epi week #29; July 13-19, 2014

 

General Statement:

The first EEE-positive mosquito pools of the 2014 season were detected this week, from a sample of Coquillettidia perturbans collected in Bridgewater (Plymouth County) on July 15. This was an interesting find, in that the pools all came from a single trap, and also that the mosquito species in question, Cq. perturbans, is a mammal biter, whereas EEE is typically found first in the bird-biting Culiseta melanura. Further testing by Plymouth County, neighboring Bristol County, and DPH will be done at end of Epi Week 29 and the start of Epi Week 30 in an effort to better assess current arbovirus levels. In response to these finds, Plymouth and Bristol County have planned ULV spraying of adulticide in Bridgewater and adjacent towns. There were also WNV-positive mosquito pools in Canton (Norfolk County) and Newburyport (Essex County).

 

Weather:

Epi Week 29 started extremely warm and muggy but ended on a cooler than normal note. Despite these extremes, temperatures actually averaged near normal for the week. A strong but slow-moving cold front pushed through the region 7/15- 7/16, resulting in localized flash flooding. Bristol County and the western half of the state both had areas experiencing rain in excess of 2.5 inches.

 

 


 

Epi week #28; July 6-12, 2014

 

General Statement:

The first West Nile Virus (WNV) positive mosquito pool of the 2014 season was detected in Clinton, MA this week, from a sample of Culex spp. collected on July 2. No Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEEv) positive pools have been detected.

 

Following several recent rain events, several of the Mosquito Control Districts noted in their reports that floodwater species are either emerging or expected to emerge during Epi Week 29.

 

Coquillettidia perturbans and Culex spp. continued to be abundant in most areas. Bristol County reported 25 more Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquito) collected this week. MCDs/MCPs continued larviciding of catch basins to combat increasing populations of Culex spp. Several also reported ULV application of adulticides, either for individual resident requests or wide-area spraying.

 

Weather:

After a rainy Epi Week 27, Epi Week 28 had us back with below-normal precipitation levels in much of the state, except for an isolated area in northern Worcester County, where several towns/cities had over 2 inches of rain, and the eastern parts of Cape Cod. Temperatures were warm again this week, with July averaging 2-3 degrees above normal so far.

 

 


 

Epi week #27; June 29-July 5, 2014

 

General Statement:

Mosquito control projects/districts and the state laboratory continue to monitor for both West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEEv), but, as of 7/5/2014, arbovirus still has yet to be detected this season. Based on data from previous years and because of last summer’s WNV and EEEv activity, we can anticipate the first mosquito pool detections very soon.

 

Temperatures remained above average over this past week, and portions of the state finally received significant rainfall as Hurricane Arthur blew by at the end of the week. Several of the Mosquito Control Districts noted in their reports that at this time in 2013, they were dealing with emergence of floodwater species, which have been suppressed this season by lack of precipitation. However, with Hurricane Arthur dropping a significant amount of rain in some parts of the state in an extremely short time, it is expected that floodwater species will begin emerging in a couple of weeks.

 

Coquillettidia perturbans and Culex spp. continued to be abundant in most areas. Bristol County reported eleven more Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquito) collected this week. MCDs/MCPs continued larviciding of catch basins to combat increasing populations of Culex spp. Several also reported ULV application of adulticides, either for individual resident requests or wide-area spraying.

 

Massachusetts announced its first four cases of Chikungunya virus, all in people who had recently traveled to the Caribbean.

 

Weather:

The week began as Epi Week 26 ended, very dry, but the end of the week  ended with extremely wet weather courtesy of Hurricane Arthur, with locations in the southeast receiving extreme amounts of rainfall, and over 6 inches of precipitation in New Bedford (Bristol County) causing street flooding. Parts of Plymouth County received in excess of 4 inches of rain while some parts of Cape Cod had rain in excess of 2.75 inches.

 

 


 

Epi week #26; June 22-28, 2014

 

General Statement:

Mosquito control projects/districts and the state laboratory continue to monitor for both West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEEv), but arbovirus still has yet to be detected this season. Based on data from previous years and because of last summer’s WNV and EEEv activity, we can anticipate the first mosquito pool detections soon.

 

While temperatures have certainly ramped up over the past couple of weeks, precipitation remains below normal for much for the state, and that’s typically good news for us and bad news for mosquitoes.

 

MCDs/MCPs continued larviciding of catch basins to combat increasing populations of Culex spp. Several also reported ULV application of adulticides, either for individual resident requests or wide-area spraying.

 

The most abundant species of mosquitoes so far this season have been Culex spp., Ochlerotatus canadensis, and Culiseta melanura. Bristol County reported eight more Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquito) collected this week.

 

Weather:

After an extremely dry Epi Week 25, rainfall levels were back up in some parts of the state, particularly in the western region, with Pittsfield seeing 4 inches of rain following heavy storms that hit Berkshire County. Temperatures throughout the state for this Epi Week averaged close to normal. Looking back at June 2014, with a few exceptions in Berkshire County (Westfield, North Adams), most of the state had less precipitation than normal. (Note: The GIS precipitation map was not available this week.)

 

The MDAR meteorological expert is keeping a close eye on a tropical depression that could threaten the New England coast during July 4th weekend. Temperatures should remain above normal.

 


 

Epi week #25; June 15-21, 2014

 

General Statement:

Arbovirus testing has begun for 2014, with mosquito control projects/districts and the state laboratory starting the week to week monitoring for both West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEEv). As is typical with the first report of the season, no arbovirus has been detected yet. However, because of last summer’s WNV and EEEv activity, we can anticipate the first mosquito pool detections within the next few weeks.

 

Several of the Mosquito Control Districts/Projects (MCDs/MCPs) noted that cool spring temperatures and lack of precipitation has led to lower than average mosquito populations compared to previous years. The Mass. Dept. of Public Health (DPH) also indicated lower than average collections of Culiseta melanura (a primary carrier of EEEv) from their long-term traps. While temperatures have certainly ramped up over the past couple of weeks, precipitation remains below normal for much for the state, and that’s typically good news for us and bad news for mosquitoes.

 

MCDs/MCPs continued larviciding of catch basins to combat increasing populations of Culex spp. Several also reported ULV application of adulticides, either for individual resident requests or wide-area spraying.

 

The most abundant species of mosquitoes so far this season have been Culex pipiens/restuans, Culiseta melanura, and Ochlerotatus canadensis. Bristol County reported a single Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquito) was collected this week – we will continue to watch this situation closely this season given the potential for that species to become established in Mass. and its ability to carry Dengue fever and Chikungunya virus.

 

Weather:

Looking back to early 2014, March was below average in both snowfall and temperature, with average temperature nearly 5’F below average for the month. In contrast, April temperatures returned to nearly normal, with precipitation just slightly below average. May temperatures were actually slightly above average, though it felt cooler because we ended the month with a dramatic cold spell. May precipitation was slightly below average. June precipitation continued to be below average for most regions, with Epi Week 25 producing no more than .65 inches of rain anywhere in the state.

 

 


 

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