RI to conduct aerial ‘larviciding’ amid increasing risk of mosquito-borne illnesses


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — In an effort to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses, the state will be conducting aerial “larviciding.”

The Rhode Island Departments of Health and Environmental Management (DEM) said the treatment will take place Thursday in three locations, including:

  • Valley Marsh area surrounding Lincoln, Cumberland and Central Falls
  • Chapman Swamp in Westerly
  • South Branch of the Pawtuxet River in West Warwick

So far this year, there have been four detections of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in Rhode Island – including in Central Falls and Westerly – and one detection of West Nile Virus in Tiverton.

A West Warwick resident also became the first person since 2010 to contract EEE in the state. The diagnosis came a week after a Fairhaven woman died after contracting EEE.

Fact Sheet: Signs & Symptoms of Mosquito-Borne Disease »

Health officials said the product being used to treat the three designated areas is a”granular larvicide” that poses no risk to humans.

The threat of mosquito-borne illnesses typically lasts until the first hard frost in mid-October.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been spraying for mosquitoes in several communities labeled moderate and critical risks.

The Department of Health also said the recommendation of “smart scheduling” of events will remain in place for the remainder of mosquito season.

This article originally said the state was conducting aerial spraying. Health officials are actually applying granular larvicide to the three designated locations – which is in pellet form.

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