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Mosquito Response Protocol

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

For Release: August 20, 2012
Contact: Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402


PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management has announced its approval of the Town of Portsmouth’s plan to spray the Common Fence Point and Island Park neighborhoods in response to the excessive number of mosquitoes in the northern area of Portsmouth. The Town has contracted with Narragansett Pest Control, who will administer a spray treatment between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Thursday, August 23. Residents are asked to close their windows and keep cars parked off the street during the application to allow access to problem areas in both neighborhoods. Narragansett Pest Control will be using an EPA and RIDEM approved insecticide that offers maximum mosquito abatement with minimal environmental impact.

Last week, the Town of Portsmouth submitted a written request to DEM for approval of an insecticide application in northern Portsmouth. Today DEM issued approval of that request.

In order to continue to minimize the mosquito population and risk before and after spraying, residents are encouraged to protect themselves by eliminating mosquito breeding grounds and avoiding mosquito bites. Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus and EEE and is by far the most effective way of avoiding infection.

Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds from yards by removing anything that holds standing water such as old tires and buckets, clean gutters so that they drain correctly, and maintain swimming pools properly. Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Just one cup of standing water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes. Avoid mosquito bites by using screens on windows and doors, covering up at dawn and dusk, and putting mosquito netting over playpens and baby carriages when they are outside. Also, use mosquito repellent, but with no more than 30 percent DEET. Do not use repellent on infants.

The permit conditions require that the Town provide an opt-out option to residents who do not want their property sprayed. The Town is asking property owners who would like to take advantage of the opt-out option to call 401-643-0281 by 3 p.m. on Thursday to ensure the property is not sprayed. Residents who have public health concerns or questions are encouraged to call the Department of Health’s information hotline at 401-222-5960 during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


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