UPDATE: 9:52 P.M. Sept. 25: Clarke Mosquito Control plane, call sign N79W, has apparently ended its flight path over West Warwick and surrounding areas, and headed back to the airport in Plymouth.
UPDATE: 7 P.M. Sept. 25: A Clarke Mosquito Control plane, call sign N79W, has begun its flight path over West Warwick and surrounding areas.
DEM and the RI Department of Health recommend that people exercise an abundance of caution, and turn off their air conditioning, close windows and bring pets indoors during the spraying, expected to last until 4 a.m.
PROVIDENCE — Rain and wind in Massachusetts Monday night prevented flight crews from finishing aerial anti-mosquito spraying to limit EEE cases, so they finished the Bay State Tuesday and will use two planes to spray both areas of RI this evening, weather permitting, according to the DEM.
Whether the two spraying zones will be treated at the same time or back-to-back will be a flight-time decision. The flight plan will be finalized just before takeoff, out of the Plymouth, MA, airport. Operations are expected to be conducted between the hours of 6:30 p.m. and 4 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 26.
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.
Healey noted that while some people have been using the software to track the planes’ flight path, they shouldn’t read too much into the information, which doesn’t let viewers know when the planes are spraying insecticide. The app only shows the planes’ flight path, he said.
“We’ve had a lot of questions about this flight app, which some people regard as
definitive. It’s not. The plane’s flight pattern does not track where the pesticide is being dispersed,” 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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