EAST LONGMEADOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - People who live in the communities with a heightened risk level for EEE are trying to navigate enjoying the outdoors while protecting themselves from the mosquito borne virus.
Yola Miodowski brings her son to watch the youth soccer league playing in Chicopee on Saturday mornings.
She says she's glad they don't play at night, but she still protects her family from mosquitoes that could carry EEE, especially since that community's risk level has been raised to high.
"I put bug spray on or sometimes they wear long sleeves so they won’t get bitten," Miodowski tells us.
Over in East Longmeadow, Western Mass News caught up with parents at a sporting event that did have to be moved from Friday night to Saturday mid-day due to EEE risks.
One parent says the change was a disappointment to players.
"I think you’re going to get more participation I think, and, you know, the kids really enjoy playing under the lights," stated local parent Steven Robidoux.
He says the mid-day game poses different problems, like the potential for heat exhaustion.
"It’s going to be pretty hot out there on the turf with the sun shining," says Robidoux.
"No one has said a word. I really had no mosquito bites that I can say," said Miodowski.
Further down the road, Center Square Grill’s General Manager says the bigger complaint from her outdoor guests are the wasps.
"They’re a little aggressive this time of year, because they’re dying out and they know it and they just aren’t happy," Kim Hulslander, General Manager of Center Square Grill, explained.
Still, she and her staff are prepping their outdoor seating area to keep guests safe from mosquitoes and other insects.
"We have some citronella candles and I’ve actually been spraying the umbrellas with some deet to try to just even keep the wasps away a little bit for guests. [You do that? How often?] Every day," continued Hulslander.
Because they are open past dusk, when health officials say the mosquitoes become more active, there are other options to keep the bugs at bay.
"If you are worried about EEE, we have great indoor seating as well," added Hulslander.