WESTERLY — The Town of Westerly will begin aerial application of mosquito larvicide across 500 acres of Chapman Swamp and nearby swamplands on Wednesday, April 10. Spraying will take place between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Rain dates are Thursday, April 11, and Friday, April 12.
Bti, a naturally-occurring bacterium applied in granular form to control mosquito breeding in swamps and other breeding habitats, will be applied. Officials said it is an environmentally friendly product and does not pose a risk to human health. Larviciding is recommended as part of the state’s action plan for West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis and considered an effective strategy to reduce mosquito populations and related disease risk. In most communities, the state recommends applying larvicide by hand to roadside catch basins.
Aerial application is used in the Chapman Swamp area because of its remote location and large footprint. Mosquitoes carrying the EEE virus were found there as recently as 2016. Additional dates for spraying may be scheduled by the town; the targeted areas include portions of Chapman Swamp and swampland near Hespar Drive. For mosquito prevention tips, visit health.ri.gov.