Oswego County conducting aerial spraying for mosquitos

OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - The Oswego County Health Department has found Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in three samples of mosquitoes collected earlier this week.

EEE was detected for the second time this year near Toad Harbor Swamp in Constantia, where two mosquito samples tested positive, and for the first time this year in the Toad Harbor Swamp in West Monroe.

As a result of the findings, the health department will be conducting aerial spraying of 10,000 acres in and around the Toad Harbor Swamp.

The county is working with the state Department of Health and has requested the state to declare EEE an imminent threat to public health in Oswego County.

Aerial spraying is a temporary, partial measure to control the spread of EEE. People should also 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.

The spray area will be in the towns of Hastings, West Monroe and Constantia within these boundaries: 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.

The pesticide will not be applied over the open waters of Oneida Lake. When spraying plans are finalized, information regarding the pesticide will be posted on the Oswego County website at www.oswegocounty.com.

Residents within the aerial spray zone will be notified of the aerial spraying by the Hyper-Reach Broadcast Notification Service through Oswego County’s E-9-1-1 Emergency Communications Department.

Oswego County residents who would like to receive community alerts by wireless phones, text messages and TTY may register for the Hyper-Reach Broadcast Notification Service through Oswego County’s E-9-1-1 Emergency Communications Department here, or they may contact the E-9-1-1 administrative office at 315-349-8215 or 1-800-679-3911 and request a registration form.

People should take the following steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites and reduce mosquito populations around their homes:

- Use insect repellents. Insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective. Repellents containing permethrin are meant for clothing and gear and should not be applied directly to the skin. Read the product label for repellents and use according to package instructions.
- Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Repair or replace all window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside, and reduce or eliminate all standing water.
- Dispose of old tires. Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site and are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. Call the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details.
- Empty or dispose of pails, cans, flower pots, and similar water-holding containers.
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
- Clear roof gutters and be sure they drain properly.
- Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs and drain pool covers.
- Change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.
- Remove leaf debris from yards and gardens and clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
- Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.”

For more information about protecting your family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or visit the New York State Department of Health website.

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