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Spraying to combat EEE delayed due to weather

NOW: Spraying to combat EEE delayed due to weather

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. -- The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is expected to announce revised aerial spraying schedules Monday to combat the spread of Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Spraying was originally scheduled to take place Sunday in 14 southwest Michigan counties, including Berrien, Cass, and St. Joseph, but rain forced officials to cancel it. 

“There are a lot of environmental factors to take into consideration when spraying occurs,” said Berrien County Health Department Communications Manager Gillian Conrad. “One of those is the weather.”

Conrad says the insecticide being used in the spraying, Merus 3.0, is an ultra-low volume mist and rainy, windy weather lowers its effectiveness in killing adult mosquitoes carrying EEE and other diseases. 

When used in favorable conditions, Merus 3.0 can kill up to 95 percent of adult mosquitoes. 

State health officials will meet Monday to determine a new day for spraying. Conrad says its possible crews could spray as early as Monday night. 

“This is truly an instance where state and local health departments are working to address a problem that we know we have in our state, in our region,” said Conrad. “The thing that we feel is best for residents at this time is to apply this insecticide furthering the reduction and risk of EEE in adult mosquitoes and keeping people safe.”

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