As of August 16, 2013, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus was detected in a total of five mosquito pools (batches), all collected in the swampy area of Whiting in southern Addison County. Aerial spraying of the pesticide Anvil 10+10 (Sumithrin) was succesfully conducted on the evening of Thursday, Aug. 22. The second phase of spraying took place on Tuesday, August 27.
In September 2012, the State of Vermont conducted this type of aerial spraying of the areas around the Whiting and Brandon swamps. The Whiting area sprayed in 2012 is the same area sprayed, with the same pesticide, this year.
- Map of mosquito spraying area (Aug 22-27, 2013)
- Mosquito spraying alert information
- News Release: More Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Detected in Mosquito Pools; Limited Aerial Spraying Planned for Aug. 22 & 27
EEE and Mosquito Control [PDF]
What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis?
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but serious disease caused by a virus that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. The EEE virus is one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). The disease most commonly affects people and horses, but illness has been reported in other animals including alpacas, llamas, donkeys, pheasants and emus. EEE in humans is a severe disease, and is often fatal. Many people who survive have mild to severe brain damage. There is no vaccine for humans.
Why is mosquito spraying planned?
The EEE and West Nile viruses will continue to circulate until a hard freeze. Targeted aerial spraying with the product Anvil 10+10 (Sumithrin) may reduce the local population of mosquitoes that are carrying the EEE virus. Aerial spraying is more effective than ground spraying. However, the local Mosquito Control District conducts regular ground spraying. Along with these efforts, Vermonters are asked to take personal precautions to limit outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, to wear protective clothing outdoors, and to use mosquito repellants.
How will mosquito spraying be conducted?
Weather conditions permitting, the pesticide Anvil 10+10 (Sumithrin) will be applied by aircraft in an ultra-low volume (ULV) mode. ULV sprayers dispense very fine aerosol droplets that stay in the air and kill flying mosquitoes on contact. ULV applications involve small quantities of the insecticide ingredient in relation to the size of the area treated. The pesticides are applied by licensed applicators following EPA guidelines. The spraying operation will be managed by the Agency of Agriculture.
Will the public be notified about when spraying will be conducted?
Stay tuned for news media announcements, check the Health Department’s social media, website healthvermont.gov, the Agency of Agriculture website vermontagriculture.com, or dial 2-1-1 to get the specifics.
Are there health risks for people and pets from pesticides for adult mosquitoes?
In the amounts used, risk to people and pets are relatively low. However, some people may be more sensitive to pesticides and may want to reduce their chance of exposure by following suggestions given here.
What can I do to reduce exposure to Anvil?
As with any pesticide, steps can be taken to help reduce possible exposures to Anvil before, during, or after spraying.
Actions you should take:
- Stay inside or avoid the area when spraying takes place and for about 30 minutes after spraying. That time period will greatly reduce the likelihood of your breathing pesticide in air.
- Close windows and doors and turn off window air-conditioning units or close their vents to circulate indoor air before spraying begins. Windows and air-conditioner vents can be reopened about 30 minutes after spraying.
- If you come in direct contact with Anvil spray, protect your eyes. If you get Anvil spray in your eyes, immediately rinse with water. Wash exposed skin. Wash clothes that come in direct contact with spray separately from other laundry.
- Consult your health care provider if you think you are experiencing health effects from spraying.
Actions you may want to take:
- If spraying just occurred, minimize your contact with surfaces and wash skin that has come in contact with these surfaces.
- Pick homegrown fruits and vegetables you expect to eat soon before spraying takes place. Rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables (in fact, all produce) thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.
- Cover outdoor tables and play equipment before spraying or wash them off with detergent and water after they have been sprayed.
- Bring laundry and small toys inside before spraying begins. (Wash with detergent and water if exposed to Anvil during spraying.)
- Bring pet food and water dishes inside, and cover fishponds to avoid direct exposure.