Westerly residents may be awakened to the sounds of helicopters overhead Thursday morning. Continuing a practice begun in 1997, the town of Westerly is conducting aerial spraying against mosquitos.
The targeted areas are portions of Chapman Swamp and the swamp area adjacent to Hespar Drive.
The town uses Bti, a naturally occurring bacterium which prevents larval mosquitoes from developing into adults. The state Department of Environmental Management says it safe to humans and the environment.
Spraying begins Thursday at 7:00am and continues through 2:00pm.
The RI Department of Environmental Management says in a statement today that a weekly sampling of mosquitoes collected from a swamp in Westerly tested positive for West Nile virus. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hermetically seal yourself, your kids, and your pets inside until the first frost. But the presence of West Nile and other diseases transmitted by so-called “vectors” like mosquitoes and ticks in our area should mean you take a few precautions before venturing into the great outdoors.