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Aerial mosquito treatment to continue in SW Michigan

Posted: 1:30 PM, Oct 02, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-02 13:44:52-04

LANSING, Mich. — Aerial spraying for mosquitoes will continue in southwest Michigan Wednesday night.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is planning to treat areas in Allegan, Van Buren and Calhoun counties Wednesday night. If the weather doesn’t allow aerial spraying in those areas, portions of Newaygo, Kent and Montcalm counties will be sprayed instead.

Crews are using Merus 3.0, an organic pesticide naturally found in some chrysanthemum flowers, which is toxic to mosquitoes, ants, flies and other pests. It doesn’t pose general health risks to humans, pets or animals and shouldn’t impact drinking water, according to the state.

People can opt out of the treatment by emailing eee@michigan.gov at least 48 hours ahead of the scheduled time. The schedule for spraying is weather-dependent and any updates will be posted to the state’s website.

MDHHS has targeted parts of multiple counties in West Michigan to fight Eastern equine encephalitis, a rare mosquito-borne illness with a 33% fatality rate for people who get infected. So far, there have been nine confirmed human cases and four of those have been fatal.

Signs of EEE include sudden onset of fever, chills, body and joint aches, which can progress to severe encephalitis. People can reduce risk by using bug spray with DEET, avoiding being outside at dusk, wearing long sleeves, and getting rid of standing water on their property.