PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) – Portions of Hampden and Hampshire Counties will be sprayed in an effort to prevent the spread of Eastern Equine Encephalitis this week. Aerial spraying is expected to begin Monday night in Palmer, Brimfield, and Ware.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources decided to do the spraying after the eighth human case of the virus was confirmed last week. Aerial spraying is done by aircraft; beginning in the early evening and continuing until 4:30 the following morning.
The pesticide Anvil 10+10 is dropped and kills mosquitoes on contact. The Dept. of Public Health says that this chemical is not harmful to people, pets or birds, but could hurt fish in small ponds. The active ingredients in the pesticide break down quickly and leave no residue, according to the DPH.
Spraying will reduce the risk of getting EEE, but it will not eliminate it, so it is important to take precautions yourself. This includes using insect repellants, covering exposed skin, and moving indoors when mosquitoes are most active- which is around dawn and dusk.
“I think the mosquitoes do pose a threat,” said Palmer resident Kiara Fryer. “So, anything to keep us safer I think is a great idea.”
The DPH adds that people with small ponds in their yard should cover them while spraying takes place. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can bring pets inside and close the windows, but that is not necessary, according to the state.
While autumn is approaching, you are still at risk for contracting EEE or West Nile Virus for a few more weeks.
The risk for mosquito-borne disease continues until the first hard frost, which is generally around the end of September or the beginning of October.
The following is a schedule of dusk and dawn times through October: