The state is going after mosquitoes from the air, spraying pesticide to stop the spread of Eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus.
A plane is set to take off from the state airport in Clarendon Thursday sometime between 9 p.m. and midnight, depending on the weather conditions. It will spray the pesticide from about 800 feet in the air. The pesticide is not meant to hit the ground. It's supposed to spread like a fog and hover 10-20 feet above the ground in a 4-square-mile area near the Whiting swamp. That's where some mosquitoes earlier this month tested positive for EEE, but no humans or animals have contracted the virus this year.
Last year, there were two deaths in the nearby towns of Brandon and Leicester. So, this year, the state wanted to spray very quickly after the mosquitoes with the virus were found.
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture says the pesticide is very safe. It's similar to the pesticide many people put on their pets to prevent fleas and ticks. But if you have concerns, the Vermont Department of Health has some suggestions on how to minimize your contact. Click here for more information on that.
The pesticide is not meant to last too long in the air. The sunrise Friday should break down the product and essentially dissolve it.
There will be another spraying next Tuesday, in case these mosquitoes had time to reproduce and pass on the EEE. The state wants to make sure the cycle of it being passed on again is broken.