Photo of Chief Steven Wojnar of the Dudley, Massachusetts Police Department

A weekly column by Police Chief Steven Wojnar of the Dudley Police Department

Week of June 28, 2020

In case you did not have enough with the COVID-19 situation, here is something else to think about.  As we experienced last year, the threat of mosquitos carrying Easter Equine Encephalitis (EEE) or West Nile Virus, will be upon us soon.  This was brought to my attention during a recent discussion with our local Board of Health.  The greatest contributing factor to mosquito reproduction is standing water.  With many swimming pools closed or abandoned, and other sources of standing water around homes, it is important to take measures to address these situations.  I wanted to mention some simple steps people can take to limit the spread of illness.

Mass.gov provides a great deal of information on this subject.  The simple measures of using repellent, wearing the proper clothing, and limiting outdoor activities from dusk until dawn, are good recommendations. People should look for standing water sources around their home.  As for unused swimming pools, some measures can be taken to the limit the growth of mosquitos.  As I understand it, mosquito larvae cling together in water as they develop.  Larvicide discs are products that can be placed into unused pools, or other standing water sources, to prevent the growth of mosquitos.  When they are placed in the water, they prevent the larvae from gathering, effectively eliminating their production.  These products can last in the water for an extended period and they are safe for humans and pets.  These items can be found at many home and pet supply stores.

Look around your home to address potential mosquito breeding grounds.  Bird baths, buckets, old tires and other outside containers, can be prime sources for them to take root.  Since we were relegated to quarantine inside at home during this COVID -19 situation, it feels great to get outside in the good weather. We want to enjoy as much of it, for as long as we can. Please be aware of this potential hazard.  If you need further information, you can check on the Commonwealth of Mass web site at https://www.mass.gov/service-details/mosquito-control-and-spraying or our Town web site at www.dudleyma.gov and look under the Board of Health. 

In addition to the Corona Virus Pandemic, there is a great deal of turmoil taking place in our state and around the country.  We continue to serve the people of Dudley and work with the community to improve the quality of life for everyone.  I continue to thank the men and women from my department for their continued dedicated service to the Town of Dudley during these trying times.  Thanks also go out to the many Police Officers, Fire and Emergency Services members, public works, government and all other “essential” personnel for their continued hard work and service.  We greatly appreciate the support we receive from our community.

Additionally, our department, along with others in the area, have been called numerous times for fireworks complaints.  Due to Coronavirus, quarantines, and business closures, we understand people are seeking a variety of entertainment options.  We are all disappointed with the regular Fourth of July displays being cancelled. However, we are asking people not to substitute the lack of legal shows for their own.  Fireworks remain illegal in Massachusetts and can be dangerous when not used properly.  People can be hurt, and property can be damaged.  Some of these have been used late in the evening, which causes people and pets to be disturbed.  In addition, our latest stretch of dry weather, increases the risk of fires.  Remember to respect others and their property and avoid using fireworks.  The Dudley Police Department thanks everyone in advance for your cooperation.

Thanks again for your questions and comments.  Please send them to me at the Dudley Police Department 71 West Main St., Dudley, Ma. 01571 or email at swojnar@dudleypolice.com.  Opinions expressed in this weekly column are those of Chief Wojnar only and unless clearly noted, do not reflect the ideas or opinions of any other organization or citizen. 

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