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

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Aug. 17, 2006

Oswego County Will Conduct Aerial Spray Thursday Evening

Map of aerial spray zone

Aerial spraying of the Toad Harbor swamp and surrounding area on the north shore of Oneida Lake will take place between 7 and 9 p.m. this evening, Aug. 17, the Oswego County Health Department announced this afternoon.

Weather conditions are favorable for the aerial spray to take place this evening. The county has contracted with Duflo Spray-Chemical of Lowville to apply the insecticide Kontrol over about 10,000 acres on the north shore of Oneida Lake. The area to be sprayed is south of state Route 49 between the villages of Central Square and Constantia covering the Toad Harbor and Big Bay swamps on Oneida Lake.

The aerial spraying will help reduce the spread of Eastern equine encephalitis, a rare but serious virus that is spread by infected mosquitoes. EEE has been found in several pools of mosquitoes collected in Toad Harbor and near Central Square.

Kathleen Smith, Public Health Director of Oswego County, said the application is not expected to cause adverse health effects. The product contains permethrin, an insecticide, which will be applied at low concentration. The application is regulated by state and federal environmental agencies.

During aerial spraying, residents are advised to:

  • Stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed for an hour after the spraying.
  • 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 removing sources of standing water.

"EEE is a rare but serious infection that affects humans and horses," said Smith. "The best way to protect yourself from mosquitoes and diseases like EEE is to stay away from any areas where mosquitoes might concentrate. Avoid outdoor activities at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. If you must be outdoors during these hours, wear long sleeved shirts and long pants, and use an insect repellant that contains DEET."

For information, 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., call 341-0086.

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