Stopping the spread of the deadly Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus is the aim of free mosquito treatments available from the St. Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The free treatments—packets of a locally produced larvicide that can be used to treat standing water, including small pools, bird baths, livestock watering troughs, rain barrels, and ornamental ponds—are being made available to homeowners through a partnership with the Soil and Water Conservation Districts in St. Lawrence and neighboring counties. The treatments are funded with a state grant obtained by Sen. Patty Ritchie.
The anti-mosquito treatment represents the third leg in a plan to beef up the state and local response to EEE—which also includes better coordination among officials in affected counties, and increased state funding for education and prevention—in the wake recent deaths.
Use of larvicides was identified as one more way to help stop the spread of EEE by reducing the number of mosquitoes that could become carriers of the disease.
The mosquito-borne virus affects horses and other livestock, and rarely occurs in humans. Five human deaths in New York since 1971 all have occurred in Oswego and Onondaga counties, while dozens of horses have succumbed in the six counties included in the larvicide program.
The larvicide treatments act to kill mosquitoes before they develop to their biting stage. Before use, homeowners are advised to read the label directions at http://www.scribd.com/doc/99210051.
Homeowners are eligible to receive one free packet of larvicide treatment, which is manufactured by a Central New York company and is available on a first-come, first-served basis through the St. Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District at 1942 Old DeKalb Road, Canton, phone 386-3582.