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Suffolk: Mosquito spraying planned for salt marshes

Suffolk County vector control is planning to spray salt marshes Thursday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. to target mosquito larvae, county health department officials said.

The pesticide VectoBac 12AS liquid concentrate is to be sprayed, weather permitting, over marsh areas by helicopter at a low altitude, officials said.

County officials said residents don’t need to take precautions, any human exposure is unlikely, and the pesticide has “no significant human toxicity,” officials said.

Spraying is to be conducted in areas of the towns of Babylon, Islip, Brookhaven, Southampton, East Hampton, Riverhead and Southold.

Besides being annoying, some mosquitoes’ bites can transmit West Nile virus to people, with much interest this year also focused on mosquitoes found on the Island that are related to the type that transmits Zika virus.

Residents can do their bit and make areas around their homes unfriendly to mosquitoes by:

Regularly looking for and eliminating even the tiniest amounts of standing water, which is where the insects reproduce. That could include in cans, buckets and other containers, as well as old tires, tarps, pool covers and children’s toys.

Drilling drainage holes at the bottom of garbage cans, changing birdbath water at least weekly and making sure roof gutters are unclogged and draining properly.

Adding fish to circulate water in any backyard ponds, and clearing pond edges of debris and vegetation.

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