Rhode Island environmental officials have started their annual mosquito trapping and testing program and so far the news is good.
The state Department of Environmental Management announced this week that the first batch of mosquitoes trapped and tested this season for West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis were negative.
The first trapping, conducted between June 2 and June 14, included 56 traps and 136 mosquito pools. State environmental and health officials say personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that may carry the potentially deadly diseases, and the most effective way to avoid infection is to eliminate mosquito breeding areas and prevent being bitten.
That includes avoiding outdoor activities at sunrise and sundown when mosquitoes are the most active, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and using bug spray. The trapping and testing runs through the fall