WEST MONROE – Due to low numbers of mosquitoes and recent test results that show no evidence of Eastern equine encephalitis virus, the Oswego County Health Department has decided not to conduct aerial spraying of the Toad Harbor area at this time.
The health department had announced earlier this month that it was taking required steps with state regulatory agencies to conduct aerial spraying of the Toad Harbor area.
Jiancheng Huang, Oswego County Public Health Director, explained that for the spraying to be effective against the type of mosquitoes that carry EEE, there should be a high population of mosquitoes, and the virus should be present in the environment.
“Weather conditions changed during the process of obtaining the necessary approvals,” he said. “The continued low temperatures, combined with very low numbers of mosquitoes trapped at the breeding sites, and no presence of EEE virus in recent lab tests — make the spraying no longer effective.”
County officials decided that due to lack of evidence of the virus, and the decreased population of mosquitoes, it would not be appropriate to proceed with aerial spraying.
Although the mosquito population continues to decline, people in Oswego County should continue to protect themselves from mosquitoes until the first hard frost.
Residents are advised to:
· Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to the product label’s instructions for children and adults;
· Continue to limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn; wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when outdoors;
· Drain standing water around the home to reduce mosquito breeding sites; and
· Fix worn window and door screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.
For more information about EEE and other viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext.3564 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or visit the New York State Department of Health Web site at www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/eastern_equine_encephalitis/fact_sheet.htm.