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Aerial control spraying for EEE

Abigail Nilsson, News Editor

Thursday the Rhode Island Department of Health and Department of Environmental Management  dropped pellets containing a larvicide, Bti, or Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis,  which dissolves in water to kill mosquito larvae different in RI locations that officials deemed “critical-risk” for mosquitoes carrying EEE. These locations included Chapman Swamp in Westerly, the South Branch area of the Pawtuxet River in West Warwick, and the Valley Marsh area around Central Falls, Cumberland, and Lincoln. 

    A release from the RIDOH and DEM said there will be spraying for Eatern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) carrying mosquitos, depending on the weather, on September 8. This is the first aerial spraying of mosquitoes in the state since 1996 in RI. 

    This spraying will cover an area of about 110,000 acres, including parts of Northern RI. The state will be using Anvil 10+10 in the aerial spraying. According to a press release, this product has been used for over 20 years in both ground-level and aerial spraying, and has proved to be extremely effective in killing adult mosquitoes. This product is being used at low concentrations and no adverse health reactions are expected. 

    “Although spraying will take place in a few select sites in Rhode Island, people in these communities and throughout the state should continue to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites,” said RIDOH Deputy Director Ana Novais. “Your first line of protection remains limiting time outdoors at sunrise and sundown, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outside, and using EPA-approved bug spray that has DEET.” 

    The remainder of Hurricane Dorian heading north can impact the spraying schedule. Spraying will take place during dusk hours, when the wind is not blowing, and with a temperature above 58 degrees to kill adult mosquitoes when they are most active.

For additional information regarding mosquito spraying visit http://www.health.ri.gov/disease/carriers/mosquitoes/about/spraying/ or call 211 for helpful facts or concerns.