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Mosquito Spraying Done, DEM Urges Continued Caution

{CREDIT: DEM] A plane run by Clarke took off from Quonset Airport Tuesday night at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. It began spraying Westerly at about 7 p.m.
{CREDIT: DEM] A plane run by Clarke took off from Quonset Airport Tuesday night at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. It began spraying Westerly at about 7 p.m.
{CREDIT: DEM] A plane run by Clarke took off from Quonset Airport Tuesday night at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. It began spraying Westerly at about 7 p.m.

QUONSET POINT —  Spraying of anti – mosquito pesticides finished Tuesday night over Westerly, the fourth and final zone of the state targeted for the spray, as a fifth positive finding of EEE has been confirmed, DEM reports.

Data from the latest round of mosquito trapping/testing, State confirms a 5th positive finding of EEE, and a second West Nile Virus detection. Both originated at Chapman Swamp, Westerly, which was targeted for Tuesday night along with parts of Hopkinton and Charlestown, according to the agency.

The crew treated 24,450 acres in parts of Westerly, Hopkinton and Charlestown and is now headed directly to Massachusetts to resume spraying ops there.

The spraying took place during the last three nights, Sunday through Tuesday, although it was supposed to finish Monday. A third run was required because temperatures dropped too low to make the spray effective before the state’s aerial spraying contractor, Clarke, could turn to the southern part of the state, according to the DEM

The product being used in aerial spraying to control mosquitoes carrying EEE is being used at very low concentrations. The application uses an ultra-low volume spray that dispenses very fine aerosol droplets that stay aloft and kill adult mosquitoes on contact.

Despite the EEE – carrying mosquito control spraying, the DEM and Rhode Island Department of Health urged people not to let their guard down in protecting themselves from potential mosquito bites.

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Protect yourself

  • Put screens on windows and doors. Fix screens that are loose or have holes.
  • At sunrise and sundown (when mosquitoes that carry EEE are most active), consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. If you must be outside, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and use bug spray.
  • Use EPA-approved bug spray with one of the following active ingredients: DEET (20-30% strength); picaridin, IR3535; and oil of lemon eucalyptus or paramenthane. Always read the label and follow all directions and precautions.
  • Do not use bug spray with DEET on infants under two months of age. Children should be careful not to rub their eyes after bug spray has been applied on their skin. Wash children’s hands with soap and water to remove any bug spray when they return indoors.
  • Put mosquito netting over playpens and baby carriages.

Get rid of mosquito breeding grounds

  • Get rid of anything around your house and yard that collects water. Just one cup of water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes; an unused tire containing water can produce thousands of mosquitoes.
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts so that they can drain properly.
  • Remove any water from unused swimming pools, wading pools, boats, planters, trash and recycling bins, tires, and anything else that collects water, and cover them.
  • Remove or treat any shallow water that can accumulate on top of a pool cover. Larvicide treatments, such asMosquito Dunks can be applied to kill immature mosquitoes. This environmentally-friendly product is available at many hardware and garden stores and on-line.
  • Change the water in birdbaths at least two times a week and rinse out birdbaths once a week.
Visit http://www.health.ri.gov/mosquito for additional mosquito prevention tips, videos, and local data. For spraying FAQs, see http://www.health.ri.gov/disease/carriers/mosquitoes/about/spraying/. Rhode Islanders who have questions or concerns about aerial spraying for mosquitoes may call 211 for helpful information. 

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 editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.IF YOU CAN'T READ THIS ARTICLE, AND YOU'D LIKE TO, YOU'LL NEED TO SUBSCRIBE (TOP RIGHT MENU) FOR $1.50 PER MONTH OR $15 YEARLY, OR LOG IN.