Oswego County plans second aerial spraying on Thursday, Sept. 16

OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department announced today that plans to conduct a second aerial spraying are now moving forward with support from the NYS Department of Health and other partners.

“We now have a supply of pesticide and plan to conduct an aerial spraying of approximately 12,000 acres in portions of the towns of Palermo, Mexico and Hastings,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “Spraying will begin after 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16, weather permitting. If we are not able to spray the entire area in one evening, we will finish the aerial spraying the next night, Friday, Sept. 17; again, weather permitting.”

The area to be sprayed is within these boundaries: south from the edge of the village of Mexico (no spraying in the village), along Munger Hill Road, a line from NYS Route 69 to NYS Route 3, NY Route 3 south to the intersection of county Route 35A. A line from this point south and east to the intersection of Winks Road and county Route 45. From this point a line north and east to the intersection of county Routes 4 and 45 (Upson Corners). County Route 45 east to US Route 11. US Route 11 north to Markowitz Road. Markowitz Road west to Kenyon Road. Kenyon Road north to NYS Route 69. NYS Route 69 northwest to Munger Hill Road.

Aerial spraying is used to reduce the population of mosquitoes that carry the Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), a rare but serious disease that is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Three horses in the town of Palermo tested positive for EEEV according to lab results from the New York State Department of Health and were euthanized in August.

“We continue to work closely with the state Department of Health to collect and test mosquitoes at the state laboratory as part of our ongoing mosquito monitoring program,” said Huang.

Aerial spraying is dependent on weather conditions. Residents within the spray area will be notified of the spraying by the Hyper-Reach Broadcast Notification Service through Oswego County’s E-9-1-1 Emergency Communications Department. If spraying is postponed due to weather conditions, residents will be notified through the news media and information will be posted on the Oswego County website at www.oswegocounty.com.

The health department received permission and permits required to conduct aerial spraying from the state departments of Health and Environmental Conservation. The product Kontrol 30-30, which contains permethrin, will be applied in a diluted form. The county has contracted with Duflo Spray-Chemical from Lowville to conduct the aerial spraying.

A copy of the pesticide label and safety data sheet (SDS) including warnings and fact sheets about permethrin aerial spraying can be found on the Oswego County website at https://health.oswegocounty.com/programs/environmental1/eee.php, or obtained by calling the

Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3564 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. After 4 p.m., call 315-341-0086.

Residents in the spray area should stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed between 6 and 10 p.m. 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 driving through an area while spraying takes place, close car windows and vents.

- Cover gardens, and rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking or eating.

Huang said it is imperative that people continue to take steps to protect themselves against mosquitoes in areas across Oswego County.

“Aerial spraying can be effective in reducing mosquito populations, but it does not eliminate all mosquitoes,” he said. “Aerial spraying is a temporary control measure. It is still very important for people throughout Oswego County to continue their efforts to prevent exposure to mosquitoes.”

People are advised to use insect repellents when participating in outdoor activities. Those that contain DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective. Repellents which contain permethrin are meant for clothing and gear and should not be applied directly to the skin. Read the product label for repellents and follow package instructions.

They should also wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes when possible, limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active and reduce mosquitoes around the home.

Follow these measures to reduce mosquito breeding sites around the home:

- Repair or replace window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

- Mosquito larvicide “dunk” packs, suitable for treating large containers of water, are available from the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District. The treatments must be used according to the label’s instructions. For information call 315-592-9663.

- Dispose of old tires. Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site and are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. Visit https://www.oswegocounty.com/departments/infrastructure_facilities_and_technology/solid_waste/faq.php or call the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details.

- Empty or dispose of pails, cans, flowerpots, and similar water-holding containers.

- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling or other 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 property.

Infected mammals, like the horses, cannot transmit EEEV to a person; however, mosquitoes infected with the virus pose a risk to both humans and animals. An EEEV vaccine is available for horses. The health department recommends that people talk to their veterinarian for advice on having their livestock vaccinated.

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 at oswegocounty.com/911 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. Landline phone customers don’t need to register because their numbers are provided to the E-9-1-1 department by the telephone companies that serve Oswego County.

For more information about protecting a family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or visit the New York State Department of Health website at https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2731/.

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