The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development have enacted an emergency rule that allows for application of pesticide without notification and will start aerial pesticide treatment for mosquitos, starting the night of September 16. The spraying will take place in high risk areas of Michigan.
The spraying will not take place in St. Clair County at this point. It is planned for Barry, Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Oakland counties. Those counties are being targeted because Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been found in 22 horses in the areas.
The disease is easily transmitted to humans from infected mosquitos and is twice as prevalent in horses this year compared to last year. Eastern Equine Encephalitis has a 33% mortality rate in humans and is particularly serious for children and older adults.
Planes will be dropping an “ultra-low volume” pesticide, Merus 3.0, a 5% pyrethrin that is botanically extracted, that kills mosquitoes on contact. It will be sprayed from dusk to dawn.
More information can be found at michigan.gov.
Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland