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DEM: EEE Spraying Set For Wednesday Night

[CREDIT: Planetracker] A tracking map of the route taken by Clarke Mosquito Control Plane N79W. DEM notes the flight path does not necessarily mean the plane is spraying pesticide in the marked area.

[CREDIT: Planetracker] A tracking map of the route taken by Clarke Mosquito Control Plane N79W as of 9:40 p.m., before it headed back to its starting point in Plymouth, MA. DEM notes the flight path does not necessarily mean the plane is spraying pesticide in the marked area.
[CREDIT: Planetracker] A tracking map of the route taken by Clarke Mosquito Control Plane N79W as of 9:40 p.m.,
before it headed back to its starting point in Plymouth, MA.
DEM notes the flight path does not necessarily mean the plane is spraying pesticide in the marked area.
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.

RI’s second round of EEE spraying will  be above the West Warwick area and a southwest section Rhode Island.

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.

[CREDIT: Planetracker] A tracking map of the route taken by Clarke Mosquito Control Plane N79W. DEM notes the flight path does not necessarily mean the plane is spraying pesticide in the marked area.
[CREDIT: Planetracker] A tracking map of the route taken by Clarke Mosquito Control Plane N79W. DEM notes the flight path does not necessarily mean the plane is spraying pesticide in the marked area.
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,” said Michael Healey, chief public affairs officer for DEM.
Some have been using a website and app, planefinder.net, to track the planes during their runs.

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

{CREDIT: DEM] A plane run by Clarke took off from Quonset Airport Sept. 10 at 6:45 p.m. to spray areas of Westerly against EEE-bearing mosquitoes.
{CREDIT: DEM] A plane run by Clarke took off from Quonset Airport Sept. 10 at 6:45 p.m. to spray areas of Westerly against EEE-bearing mosquitoes.

definitive. It’s not. The plane’s flight pattern does not track where the pesticide is being dispersed,” Healey said.

Healey explained the pilot’s first concern, after safety, is wind, both speed and direction. Because of the precision of the route, which is preprogrammed into the plane’s computer, and the spraying technology used — and factoring in wind speed— the plane can be applying pesticide as much as a mile away from where the pesticide will ultimately be delivered, he said.
“People look at the app and say, “The plane is flying over the reservoir. You said you wouldn’t spray reservoirs.” We’re not. The app only shows the flight pattern. It’s misleading,” 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.

Mosquito precautions

  • 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.
[CREDIT: DEM] A map of the areas of RI to be covered by a second round of aerial pesticide to control EEE-bearing mosquitoes.
[CREDIT: DEM] A map of the areas of RI to be covered by a second round of aerial pesticide to control EEE-bearing mosquitoes.
Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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