2014 0602 helicopter spraying

Suffolk County plans aerial larvicide applications today and tomorrow in multiple salt marshes across the county, including locations in Riverhead and Southold towns.

The Suffolk Department of Public Works Vector Control division will conduct low altitude, large-droplet liquid application of Vectobac 12AS. The application will take place sometime between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Aug. 23 and 24, according to a press release issued by the county health department late yesterday afternoon. Should weather conditions prevent completion of the work, it will be continued on the next suitable day, according to the release.

Salt marshes at Crescent Duck Farm Aquebogue farm and Millar Farm in Aquebogue and in New Suffolk and Great Hog Neck in Southold.

The products used by Vector Control are registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and are applied in accordance with the required state and federal permits, the county health department said.

The agency said no precautions are recommended to prepare for this spraying, as the helicopter will be flying at a very low level over marsh areas and taking other precautions to control drift into inhabited areas. Human exposure from this operation is unlikely and the products involved have no significant human toxicity.

As of Friday, 91 mosquito samples and nine birds have tested positive for West Nile virus so far this year, according to the Suffolk County health department.

Health officials last week also announced that the Asian Tiger Mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) are presently active in Suffolk County. Asian Tiger mosquitoes are small mosquitoes with black and white stripes that are known to bite aggressively near your feet and ankles during the day.

Because they are related to the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are known to transmit Zika virus, officials believe Aedes albopictus, can also transmit Zika. Aedes aegypti has not been identified anywhere in New York State. Zika virus has not been found in New York or locally transmitted here, according to state health officials.

“We recommend that residents take three actions if they encounter these daytime biters,” Suffolk County Health Commission Dr. James Tomarken said:

  • Eliminate stagnant water where mosquitoes breed by dumping the water and scrubbing the containers weekly to remove the eggs;
  • Use mosquito repellent with EPA approved labeling on the product and follow instructions;
  • Consider using dunks, treating yards with barrier type sprays containing permethrin as the active ingredient, or hiring licensed pesticide applicators.

For a full list of locations throughout Suffolk scheduled to be sprayed this week, visit the health department’s website.

For current and future notices and/or further information: Suffolk County Division of Vector Control 631-852-4270.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.