Mosquito spraying in Whiting to prevent EEE - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Mosquito spraying in Whiting to prevent EEE

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Armed with pesticide spraying equipment on its wings, the Vermont Health Department hopes a small plane taking off at the Rutland State Airport in Clarendon takes care of mosquitoes and worries.

"I think it's a good idea," said Ellen Kerrelmeyer, the chair of the Whiting select board. "I mean, it's a matter of public health. It's really hard when your town is spread across the media as saying 'deadly,'" she explained.

Earlier this month mosquitoes in the small town of Whiting tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis or EEE. The virus caused the death of two Vermonters in towns near Whiting last year. So this year the state is reacting quickly. So far, no humans or animals have contracted the virus.

"We've tried not to be out that much at dusk," explained Madeline Dennis of Whiting.

Officials hope that by spraying the pesticide in a dense fog above where the mosquitoes were found, any others that may have EEE will die before they can bite.

"I think it's going to be a good thing. I hate mosquitoes," Lawrence Dennis said.

The fog is designed to hover in the air, not fall to the ground. The Vermont Health Department says it's safe for humans to come into contact with. The chemical used is similar to the active ingredient many people use on their pets to protect them from fleas and ticks.

"As an abundance of caution we advise people to stay inside when we spray, close their windows if they're worried about it and take in pet dishes and toys -- just some very common sense precautions," explained Erica Berl with the Health Department.

Berl says even after the spray, people should still use bug spray with DEET and wear long pants and shirts with long sleeves when outside, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes tend to be most active.

There is another spray planned for next Tuesday.

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