Spraying to stop EEE - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Spraying to stop EEE

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NORTH CLARENDON, Vt. -

The Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport was mission control Thursday night for aerial assault on Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

"We're trying to eliminate the risk to public health from EEE," says Cary Giguere of the Vermont Agriculture Agency.

The virus has already claimed the life of one Vermonter and left a second in the hospital.

"There was a death, it's a good idea to prevent anymore," says Linda Ronk of Brandon.

Now the state Agriculture Agency is taking to the air with pesticides to kill the mosquitoes that can carry the virus.

Shortly before 8 PM this plane headed for what's called the 'mosquito district' comprised of Brandon, Leicester, Salisbury and Goshen.

"The planes blanket the entire spray block with a cloud of pesticides to knock the mosquitos down," says Giguere.

Before the plane took off it was loaded with 110 gallons of the pesticide Anvil 10 plus 10 the Ag Department chose it over other varieties because it's been deemed safe for crops and gentle on bees.

"With all of the Ag in both of these counties, we wanted to choose a pesticide that had established crop tolerance," says Giguere.

The one night mission covered about 20,000 acres. The flight cost taxpayers about a dollar an acre.

Folks living in the fly zone are taking precautions of their own when it comes to mosquitoes.

"If we go out and I notice any mosquitos around them, I'll apply bug spray, but I am not an alarmist, I don't want to over react either," says Hanna Davidson, an organic farmer.

The Agriculture Agency is striking a similar tone-- urging people to take appropriate precautions and are confidant the spraying will help.

"Hopefully it will be safer for folks in both these counties to be outside tomorrow," says Giguere.

Experts advise when it comes to this potentially deadly mosquito born illness to use precautions like wearing long sleeve clothing, avoiding being outside at dawn and dusk.

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