Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Aug. 11, 2006

Health Department Will Spray for Mosquitoes During Week of Aug. 14

The Oswego County Health Department will conduct an aerial spray of the Toad Harbor Swamp region on the north shore of Oneida Lake during the week of Aug. 14. The application will help reduce the spread of Eastern equine encephalitis, a rare but serious virus that is spread by infected mosquitoes.

Kathleen Smith, Public Health Director for Oswego County, said that 11 pools of mosquitoes in the Toad Harbor and Central Square area were found to be carrying the EEE virus. Eight of the pools came from a collection site that is southeast of the village of Central Square.

Recent wet weather conditions have led to high numbers of Culiseta melanura mosquitoes, a bird-biting mosquito which carries EEE. The high level of infection in the number of Culiseta melanura indicates that the virus is active in this area.

“Based on our consultation with the New York State Department of Health, we have determined that the presence of virus activity in this area is a threat to public health,” said Smith. “Aerial spraying is a control measure that will help to reduce the risk of human infection.”

Residents will be notified of the spraying schedule through announcements to the news media. The application will most likely take place during the middle of the week of Aug. 14.

The affected area extends from Toad Harbor and Big Bay swamps on Oneida Lake, west to U.S. Route 11 in Central Square, north to NYS Route 49, and east to the village of Constantia.

Bee keepers and organic farmers in the region should notify the Oswego County Health Department, phone 349-3557 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3557, of their location prior to the spraying.

Kontrol, an aerial insecticide which contains permethrin, will be used. The application is regulated by state and federal environmental agencies. Smith said the product is applied at a low concentration and is not expected to cause adverse health effects.

During aerial spraying, residents 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.

Smith said people should also take steps to eliminate mosquitoes around their homes by eliminating sources of standing water.

“The best ways to protect yourself are to stay away from any areas where mosquitoes might concentrate, and limit your outside activities during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active,” said Smith.

She recommends wearing shoes and socks, long sleeve shirts and long pants, and using an insect repellant that contains DEET. DEET should be applied over clothing according to the label instructions.

People with questions may call the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3557 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3557, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. After 4 p.m., and during evenings and weekends, call 341-0086.

Map of Toad Harbor Area

Area inside green line will receive aerial spray during week of Aug. 14. Details will be announced.

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