Aerial spraying set this week
Mosquito aerial spraying of Acadia Parish will occur this week, according to information shared by Lee Hebert, parish Homeland Security director.
To reduce the threat of mosquito-borne disease in Acadia Parish, aerial spraying began on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 6:30 p.m. The spraying will be similar to that which occurred following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
All densely populated areas –– Rayne, Crowley, Iota, Church Point, Mermentau, Morse, Estherwood and Duson –– will be sprayed with Dibrom.
In addition, 19 individual spray blocks of one mile square will be sprayed around all churches and schools in the Parish.
A total of 147,080 acres will be sprayed. Ground spray units will treat all areas not sprayed by aircraft and will be continued at dusk and dawn until mosquito populations are brought under control, according to Mosquito Control Contractors, Inc.
Spraying will pose no threat to humans, animals or plants, but will be significant enough to kill mosquitoes and filthy flies, which pose a potential health threat.
The spraying operation will be conducted by U.S. Air Force Reserve C-130 cargo planes from the 910th Airlift Wing in Youngstown, OH which are specially equipped with a Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS). This highly experienced unit has conducted several spraying operations in support of disaster recovery operations around the world.
The general public can expect to see large, gray, low-flying aircraft (C-130s) flying at or above 150 feet above ground level during the actual spraying application, and their sound will be fairly loud.
Weather permitting, flights will begin two hours prior to sunset (when insects are most active) and end approximately two hours later. Each C-130 aircraft is capable of spraying about 80,000 acres per day.
The insecticide to be sprayed, Dibrom, is widely used in adult mosquito control operations in Louisiana and has historical precedent for use following mosquito emergency outbreaks. Insecticide formulations are approved and registered by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency for mosquito control.
The timing of the application should minimize danger to bees. However, beekeepers in the area should take appropriate measures to protect their hives.