Mass. to begin spraying for mosquitoes

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August 3, 2010, 10:06 pm
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UPDATE Wednesday 2:20pm: Aerial spraying has been postponed due to weather conditions the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency announced Wednesday.

MEMA will re-evaluate the possibility of spraying on Thursday.

(NECN: Tom Langford) - Aerial spraying will begin Wednesday night to counter the risk of EEE in mosquitoes in southeastern Massachusetts. The spraying will be done in 27 communities.

Weather permitting, aerial spraying of the pesticide Anvil will begin tomorrow night to counter the risk of Triple E in mosquitoes in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Click here to view all affected communities.

The spraying will be done in 27 communities, but not everyone is happy about it.

Pine DuBois, Executive Director of the James River Watershed Association in Kingston, Massachusetts, said, "I think it's a terrible approach."

She agrees, mosquitoes need to be controlled, but says widespread spraying is not the way to do it. "Unfortunately, we're doing ourselves in with all those chemicals."

That's because chemicals don't just kill mosquitoes... they have an effect on other insects, birds and wildlife.

Kingston resident Sue Chamberlain said, "we don't know what this will do. so why do we blanket ourselves with something we're not even sure about the effects of?"

But the state health officials say, the Triple E threat has risen to a level where something drastic needs to be done.

Department of Public Health Commissioner John Auerback said, "We're seeing a level of risk that is significantly higher than we've seen in past years, and therefore its appropriate to take the action steps we can to reduce that risk."

And assistant commissioner Nathan L'Etoile said the pesticide Anvil is the least toxic choice.

"It is a very common pesticide that's used in and around the homes. The active ingredient is in flea collars your pet might wear, flea dips. It is regularly used in recreation areas."

Still, they are warning people in the spray area to take precautions.

You should close windows... shut off all fans and air conditioners... rinse home-grown fruits and vegetables... wash your skin if its exposed to the spray... cover fish ponds... and keep farm animals inside a barn.

Pine DuBois thinks a less disruptive approach is to attack mosquitoes on an individual level.

"We can protect our kids. We can protect ourselves. We can be smart about it. We can put mosquito repellent on."

She adds, you can also wear long sleeves and pants and avoid areas where mosquitoes are.

The spraying is set to take place tomorrow and Thursday from 8pm until about 2am as long as weather conditions are right.

Tags: Tom Langford, EEE, mosquito, mosquito spraying
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