Lapeer County to spray “areas of concern” starting Sunday

LAPEER COUNTY — Health officials announced today that aerial spraying will be conducted in portions of Lapeer County, starting Sunday night, in an effort to slow the further spread of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, an illness contracted by mosquito bites.
As long as the weather cooperates, low-flying aircraft will begin applying the pesticide, Merus 3.0, at 8 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 29 through 4:30 a.m. on Monday in “areas of concern.” According to the  Lapeer County Health Department, that area encompasses a portion of Arcadia Township and small sections of northern Attica and western Goodland townships.
“The spraying will be done within a specified area surrounding the location of the identified case.  In Lapeer County a horse in the vicinity of Lum was identified as having EEE,” Director Kathy Haskins stated in a press release.
“Mosquito control professionals will apply approved pesticides as an ultra-low volume (ULV) spray. ULV sprayers dispense very fine aerosol droplets that stay suspended in the air and kill adult mosquitoes on contact,” the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services stated in a press release.
Merus 3.0 is considered an organic pesticide that contains five percent pyrethrins.
Lapeer is one of 14 counties where spraying will be conducted over the weekend. As of Friday, Lapeer County was one of 13 counties where at least one animal case of EEE had been confirmed. Nine human cases of the disease have occurred elsewhere in the state, resulting in three fatalities.
State health officials said that residents won’t need to take any special precautions during the application. Anyone with known sensitivities to pyrethrins are being encouraged to stay indoors while the spray is applied.
“Aerial spraying will be conducted in the nighttime hours as this is when mosquitos are more active. It is also when fish are less likely to be at the surface feeding and honeybees are most likely to be in their hives. However, owners should cover small ornamental fishponds during the night of spraying,” state health officials said.
“While it is not necessary to bring animals indoors during spraying, concerned pet owners can bring animals inside during spraying.”