2014 0602 helicopter spraying

Suffolk County will begin treating salt marshes across the county this week to control mosquito larvae, the county health department announced yesterday afternoon.

A helicopter flying at low altitude will spray VectoBac and Altosid pesticides over local salt marshes.

Marshes scheduled for treatment today and tomorrow in Riverhead Town include: Indian Island park, Riverhead; Overlook Drive, Aquebogue; Crescent Duck Farm, Aquebogue; and Aquebogue Farm, Aquebogue. Iron Point in Flanders is also slated for treatment.

Spraying will take place between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. May 3 and 4. Should weather conditions prevent completion of the work, it will be continued on the next suitable day, according to a press release announcing the operation.

The low-altitude, large-droplet liquid application does not require any precautions by residents, the health department said.

“The helicopter will be flying at a very low level over marsh areas and taking other precautions to control drift into inhabited areas,” according to the release. “Human exposure from this operation is unlikely and the products involved have no significant human toxicity,” the health department said.

The aerial larvicide application will be conducted by the Suffolk County Department of Public Works’ Division of Vector Control.

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, according to the county.

Details about the county’s spraying program, including the full county-wide list of locations to be sprayed and daily updates, may be found on the county’s website. See also the county’s Vector Control and Wetlands Management Long-Term Plan for more information.

To reduce the mosquito populations around homes, residents should try to eliminate stagnant water where mosquitoes breed:

  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
  • Remove all discarded tires on the property.
  • Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Change the water in birdbaths.
  • Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds and keep shrubs and grass trimmed.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
  • Drain water from pool covers.

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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.