OSWEGO – The Oswego County Health Department plans to conduct aerial spraying of approximately 10,000 acres of land in the Big Bay – Toad Harbor Swamp area in the towns of Hastings, West Monroe and Constantia between 6 and 9 p.m. today (Sept. 3).
The area was previously sprayed in early August and is bounded by U.S. Route 11 in Central Square to the west; NYS Route 49 to the north; up to but not including the village of Constantia to the east; and the shoreline of Oneida Lake to the south.
Spraying will not take place over the waters of Oneida Lake.
Aerial spraying is considered a temporary control measure to help prevent the spread of the Eastern equine encephalitis virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes.
County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said aerial spraying is being done again in this area because several new samples of mosquito pools tested positive for EEE in this area last week, and mosquito numbers remain relatively high in the target area.
Huang said that two positive samples of EEE were also found in mosquitoes collected near Route 104 in the town of Albion.
The numbers of mosquitoes collected from the Route 104 area are relatively low and have been declining over the past several weeks compared to other sampling sites. Health officials believe the source of the virus is likely the same areas that were previously treated in central Oswego County and the Toad Harbor area.
“We believe that the potential health threat from the two new positive pools is relatively low because the virus likely originated from the Toad Harbor and town of Mexico areas that were already treated with aerial spraying,” said Huang. “We will continue to work with the state health department and monitor the situation, but at this time we don’t plan to conduct an aerial spray over the Route 104 area.”
Huang said it is still important for people throughout Oswego County to continue preventive measures.
People should limit their outdoor activities around dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active, wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when outdoors, and eliminate standing water around the home.
Repellants containing DEET are the most effective, but should be used with caution and according to label instructions. Products containing picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are also effective.
During aerial spraying, people in the target area should stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed for one hour after the spraying.
They are also advised to:
- Keep pets indoors.
- Close the vents on window air conditioners so that outside air doesn’t enter the home for one hour.
- Remove outdoor toys, outdoor furniture, and clothing from the clothesline. Items left outdoors should be washed thoroughly with soap and water before using.
- If you are driving through an area while spraying takes place, close your car windows and vents.
- Cover gardens, or rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking or eating.
A copy of the pesticide label and MSDS including all warnings, and fact sheets about permethrin aerial spraying can be found on the Oswego County Web site at http://www.oswegocounty.com or obtained by calling the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
After 4 p.m., call 341-0086.