New Canaan will begin working to keep West Nile virus at bay by treating catch basins with insecticide.

The town will hire All Habitat Services LLC to treat 2,656 catch basins in the town with VectoLex, a granular bacterial agent at a cost of $11,472 throughout the town and school properties to kill mosquito larvae. There are expected to be three applications, costing $3,824 each.

Last week, Parks Superintendent John Howe said the preemptive treatment of catch basins was the best way to avert mosquitoes breeding in standing water.

“The mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus breed in catch basins,” Howe said.

Since West Nile virus was first identified in Connecticut in 1999, no New Canaan residents have contracted the disease, according to the surveillance statistics kept by the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program.

Most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito, the detection of mosquitoes carrying the virus in Connecticut typically peaks from late July through September.

Since 2000, there have been 120 human cases of West Nile virus, causing three deaths, with 79 of the patients being hospitalized, according to the Connecticut Department of Health.

The Department of Health recommends people can reduce the risk of contracting the virus by:

Minimizing time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.

Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors for long periods, particularly after dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

Using mosquito repellent as directed when outdoors.