State begins third round of aerial spraying

Sep 17, 2019

Update: There was no aerial or truck spraying on the night of September 17 because it was too cold. Spraying is now set to begin the night of September 18.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health will begin a third round of aerial spraying on the night of September 17 from 7 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. The aerial spraying will be supplemented by spraying from trucks in neighborhoods close to the coast.

Spraying will continue for several evenings and is weather-dependent.

For a map of the area to be sprayed aerially, click here. For a list of streets being sprayed by truck, click here. By law, the county can only spray by truck the homes of those who request it, so the fact that a street is listed does not mean all the homes on it will be sprayed.

As of September 17, Wareham is one of 35 communities at a critical risk level for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). A further 38 communities are at high risk, and 120 are at moderate risk.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s guide to aerial spraying, the spray has no adverse impact on people, pets, and vegetable gardens. In addition to mosquitoes, it can harm other insects such as dragonflies and beetles as well as fish, although the larger the body of water, the safer the fish are. There should be no risk to honeybees, because they are usually inside the hive at night.

The Department of Public Health recommends avoiding mosquito bites by being aware of peak mosquito hours from dusk to dawn, wearing long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors, and wearing insect repellent that contains DEET, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. The department also recommends mosquito-proofing the home by draining standing water and installing or repairing screens.

Prior to this summer, the last human case of EEE in Massachusetts occurred in 2013.

The department encourages people to take “all possible precautions when outside after dusk.”