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

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July 20, 2007

Aerial Spraying No Earlier Than Monday Evening in Oswego County

Location of Toad Harbor swamp area where spraying will occur

Aerial spraying of the Toad Harbor swamp and surrounding area on the north shore of Oneida Lake is planned to take place Monday evening, July 23, pending receipt of confirmation of a public health threat from NYS Department of Health and weather permitting, the Oswego County Health Department announced this afternoon.

Kathleen Smith, Public Health Director for Oswego County, said that the State Health Department has not yet approved the declaration of a public health threat and the use of an aerial application of pesticide as a control measure to reduce the risk of human infection.

"Even though we do not yet have the approval of the declaration from NYSDOH there is a need to inform the public of a spraying timetable so that when we receive the declaration, the aerial control activities can proceed as quickly as possible", said Smith.

Additionally Smith announced, another pool of mosquitoes from the Village of Central Square has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) bringing the total to 8 positive EEE pools collected since June 25. Of even more concern is the fact that 6 of 9 pools of bird-biting mosquitoes collected last week have tested positive.

"The fact that more than half of the Culesita Melanura pools collected last week were positive for EEE indicates a high rate of infection within that specie of mosquito. It is an alarming percentage", said Smith.

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 the Toad Harbor and Big Bay swamps north of Oneida Lake. It is bordered by NYS Rte. 49 on the north, US Rte. 11 on the west, Oneida Lake/Oneida River on the south and the hamlet of Constantia on the east.

Kathleen Smith, Public Health Director of Oswego County, said the application is not expected to cause adverse health effects. The product to be used (Kontrol 30/30) contains permethrin, an insecticide, and will be applied at a very 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."

Beekeepers and organic farmers in the targeted region should notify the Oswego County Health Department of their location prior to spraying.

For information, call the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. After 4 p.m., call 341-0086.

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