Mosquito aerial spray ‘operation’ scheduled this week

Published 9:48 am Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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Washington Parish officials have scheduled an aerial spray operation this week for all populated areas within Washington Parish, to help reduce the number of mosquitoes resulting from the flooding caused by Hurricane Ida.

The aerial application will begin Wednesday evening at approximately 7 p.m. and continue until about 3 a.m., weather permitting. The aerial application may take three days to complete, based on weather conditions. Dibrom is the pesticide being applied at the rate of 0.5 fluid ounces per acre.

The aerial spray operation is being conducted in response to surveillance findings that indicate increased mosquito populations and also due to limited road accessibility from debris management workers. Aerial spraying is necessary to combat and control mosquitoes where ground spraying is less accessible and effective. If there is a weather delay, applications will begin the following night.

Vector Disease Control, Inc. (VDCI), a mosquito control company operating out of Bastrop, will be conducting the aerial spray operation. VDCI holds contingency contracts with multiple Louisiana parishes and FEMA to provide application of adulticides on an “as-needed” basis. In 2021, VDCI has aerially treated over 3 million acres to control mosquitoes resulting from the floodwaters left behind by heavy rains, West Nile virus or other emergencies.

VDCI will be using multiple twin-engine aircraft flying at an altitude of approximately 300 feet to conduct the aerial application. Each aircraft is equipped with an aerial spray guidance system specifically engineered for mosquito control operations. The planes are able to receive in real-time, meteorological conditions such as temperature, wind speed and wind direction.

“This onboard equipment allows us to optimize the application within the intended treatment areas, while minimizing drift outside the target zone,” said Daniel Markowski, vice president of VDCI.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires notification to the public when aerial spray operations are to occur. For additional information and/or maps of the intended spray area, contact VDCI at 1-800-413-4445.