The Suffolk County Department of Health announced on Monday that a mosquito it collected in Bridgehampton between Sept. 12 and 18 tested positive for West Nile virus. It was one of two Culex pipiens mosquitoes to test positive in that span, the other collected in Port Jefferson Station.
To date this year, 138 mosquito samples, 15 birds, and one horse have tested positive for West Nile. No humans have tested positive for the virus in the county this year.
James Tomarken, the county's health commissioner, recommended that property owners continue to take precautions, as both Culex pipiens and Asian Tiger mosquitoes remain active in the county. Stagnant water should be dumped from any containers and containers should be scrubbed weekly to remove mosquito eggs. He also suggested using mosquito repellent with Environmental Protection Agency-approved labeling, treating yards with barrier-type sprays containing Permethrin, hiring licensed pesticide applicators, or using Mosquito Dunks, a biological pesticide that is placed where water accumulates.
Residents of the county can also contact the Department of Public Works' Vector Control division at 631-852-4270 to request that a vector control crew check their area.
To discourage mosquitoes from breeding near residences, property owners have been advised to remove any discarded tires, dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers, ensure that roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters. Plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows should be overturned when not in use. Water in birdbaths should be changed and the containers scrubbed. Shrubs and grass should be trimmed regularly, and vegetation and debris should be cleared from the edges of ponds. Swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs should be cleaned and chlorinated. Water should be drained from pool covers, which should also be scrubbed. Lastly, all windows and doors should have screens that are in good repair.
Dead birds may indicate the presence of West Nile virus. The county's West Nile virus hotline can be reached at 631-787-2200, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., to report dead birds. Residents have been encouraged to take a picture of any bird in question.