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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release:

August 17, 2000

Media Contact:

Malcolm Grant (cell phone) 447-1351
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418 (pager 482-2968)

DEM FINDS THAT SPRAYING IN WARWICK AND CRANSTON SUCCEEDED IN REDUCING THE NUMBER OF MOSQUITOES

Yet Personal Protection Remains a High Priority
Vandalized Trap Disturbs State Officials

PROVIDENCE - A total of 20 mosquitoes were found in two of the three traps set by the Department of Environmental Management last night to monitor mosquito activity in the two-mile radius of Warwick and Cranston that was ground-sprayed on Tuesday night. That number is well below average, according to Alan Gettman, Ph.D., DEM's mosquito abatement coordinator. By way of comparison, 1,284 mosquitoes were collected yesterday morning from 23 traps set Tuesday night statewide - an average of 56 mosquitoes per trap.

"Although the spraying has dramatically cut down the number of mosquitoes in the spray area temporarily, "Gettman said, "people need to remember that there will always be some mosquitoes remaining, and more mosquitoes will continue to be born. It is therefore very important for people to continue taking the personal protections they have followed all summer." That means using mosquito repellent and covering up in the evenings, getting rid of stagnant water in yards, and making sure screens are in good repair.

"Municipal workers in communities throughout the state have been working very hard all summer to reduce mosquito populations, and Cranston and Warwick public works employees did an excellent job ground spraying on Tuesday night," said Malcolm Grant, DEM's Associate Director for Natural Resource Management.

The good news associated with the trapping results was overshadowed by the discovery that one of the three traps set by DEM in the affected area was vandalized. The trap, set in a tree on Neptune Avenue in the Garden City area of Cranston at 9:40 p.m. last night was found at 8 a.m. today with its parts strewn on the ground, and its 6-volt battery missing. No mosquitoes were inside.

"Mosquito trapping and testing is how we monitor for diseases that can affect the public," said Grant. "It is very discouraging when that work is disrupted because of an act of senseless vandalism."

DEM will set another trap in the Cranston area this evening to gauge the mosquito activity it had hoped to capture last night. Additional traps will be set in coming weeks to monitor for both disease and mosquito population levels.


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