Mosquito spraying planned for Suffolk

A mosquito, a carrier for the potentially lethal A mosquito, a carrier for the potentially lethal West Nile virus. Photo Credit: Getty Images

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With an eye to adult mosquito control, Suffolk County is planning to conduct ground spraying on Thursday, weather permitting, health officials said.

Treatment with the pesticide Anvil is planned for 6 to 10 p.m. on all streets in Fire Island Pines, Water Island, Atlantique and Summer Club on Fire Island, the health department said. The pesticide Scourge will be used from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. to treat parts of East Patchogue and North Shirley.

Already announced is ground spraying from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday on all streets in Ocean Bay Park on Fire Island, with the pesticide Anvil, the health department said. The pesticide Scourge will be used from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Wednesday to treat parts of South Shirley, Mastic Beach and Old Mastic.

Also previously announced is Wednesday's aerial spraying of parts of Suffolk County's salt marshes, from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., health officials said.

The helicopter will fly at low altitudes and take "precautions to control drift into inhabited areas," said a release from the county health department. Human exposure is unlikely and the pesticide to be used -- altosid liquid concentrate -- has "no significant human toxicity," the release says, so no precautions are advised.

Besides being annoying, some mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus through bites to humans. Mosquitoes pick up the virus through feeding on infected birds.

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Last year ranked as the second-worst in the United States for West Nile virus cases since the disease was first detected in this area in 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Nassau and Suffolk counties each reported 14 human cases last year, including one Nassau death.

The chances of experiencing health effects from ground spraying are "quite low," the health department said in a release, but children and pregnant women should avoid exposure when possible by steering clear of the area during and for at least 30 minutes after spraying.

Among the "common sense steps" the department suggests:

-- Close doors, windows and air-conditioning vents during and for 30 minutes after spraying;

-- Bring indoors laundry, children's toys, pet food and water dishes;

-- Cover ornamental fish ponds.

Learn more at the county's spraying information hotline 631-852-4939, as well as suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/HealthServices.aspx.

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