PROVIDENCE — A new round of aerial pesticide EEE mosquito spraying to reduce risk of new human cases of the virus set for Monday has been delayed at least a day due to weather, the Department of Environmental Management reports.
The National Weather Service forecasts a 90 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms before 4 a.m. tonight, with gusts of wind reaching 20 mph. The rain and wind will make any spraying operation ineffective, officials report.
Michael Healey, chief public affairs officer for DEM, said the agency will decide later this afternoon if the spraying will be rescheduled for Tuesday or Wednesday. RI’s second round of EEE spraying will be above the West Warwick area and a southwest section Rhode Island.
Spraying schedules are weather and flight-dependent, Healey said. The spraying will not continue on a certain day if wind speed increases or if the temperature falls below 58 degrees.
“Below that temperature, adult mosquitoes are not flying around,” Healey said.
Aerial spaying details
- Spraying will not occur over fish hatcheries, certified organic farms, surface drinking water supplies, or other open water bodies and coastal areas.
- The state will use the same pesticide, Anvil 10+10, that it used in its previous adulticiding operations September 8-10. It will be applied at the same low concentration by the same company as the last time.
- In its first round of spraying, the state treated 115,179 total acres. Approximately 6/10 of an ounce, aerosolized, was used to treat each acre (slightly less than four teaspoons per acre).
- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has used this same pesticide when spraying this year. No adverse health risks are expected with this product’s use for mosquito control. However, it is generally good for people to limit their exposure to pesticides.
- While spraying is occurring, it is best to err on the side of caution and limit time outdoors and keep windows closed. DEM and RIDOH will work with the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency to urge the 12 affected communities to activate “code red” alerts to update residents with this information, and additional information about spraying.
- Aerial spraying is only one tool used to combat risk from mosquito-borne disease. The foundation of all risk reduction remains personal protection (mosquito repellent, long sleeves and pants, avoiding outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, repairing window and door screens, and dumping standing water).
- If possible, people should limit their time outdoors at sunrise and sunset. If they are going to be out, people should wear long sleeves and pants and use bug spray. Aerial spraying effectively reduces the risk of mosquito-borne disease but if does not eliminate the risk completely.
- Fewer mosquitoes are active as evening temperatures get cooler, but those mosquitoes that are active are more likely to be infected with EEE.
- The risk from mosquito-borne disease will continue until the first hard frost.
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