Oswego County is set to do aerial spraying in an attempt to control the mosquito population. The county hopes to spray on Monday. It is expected to help curb the problem, but the county says individuals are best able to stop the spread of West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).
"I still encourage residents after spraying to keep doing their personal prevention measures," said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. "Wear long sleeves. Use repellants."
One Oswego mom is concerned about the spraying. "It kind of makes me nervous either way because it makes me nervous that my kids could get sick," said Maureen Bobbett. "But at the same time, it makes me nervous of what the spray could do to my kid's bodies."
Others favor spraying. "I think it's a good idea," said Oswego resident Michael Conaway. "I'm surprised they haven't done it sooner."
One local expert believes spraying poses little danger to the public. "It's a very small amount of insectide that's being put out," said Dr. Lawrence Abrahamson, Senior Research Associate at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. "And there's going to be - should be - relatively little or no effects whatsoever."
Oswego County said its decision to spray is based on several factors: West Nile virus, positive EEE mosquitoes found in test pools, weather conditions, and the need to take precautions against anyone contracting EEE.
The area being sprayed is roughly bordered by Oneida Lake and County Routes 49 and 11. Most of the area includes the Toad Harbor Swamp and Big Bay areas because Oswego County's spraying is targeting swampy areas. Hastings is also scheduled to spray separately Friday night after 7pm.