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Disclosure: Waylandenews Executive Director Kim Reichelt is a member of the Wayland School Committee

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Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable

Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization of men and women incorporated in 1999. The goal of the Roundtable is to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence through community education and networking and to improve the coordination between public and private services for victims and families touched by domestic violence.

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URGENT update for the Town of Wayland: Mosquito Control for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus

Aerial Spraying for mosquitoes by MDPH and MDAR

The State Department of Public Health and Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources announced this morning that they will conduct aerial spraying to control mosquitoes beginning September 10th through the 15th  (weather permitting).  They will use the product Anvil 10+10 ULV.  Areas in Wayland may be covered by aerial spraying as soon as this evening at from 7:15 pm to 4:30 am.  Recent press releases from MDPH can be found on the town website.   There is no need for special precautions to be taken following spraying although we caution people to remain indoors with their windows closed during the evening/night when spraying is taking place.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus risk

Mosquito-borne illness and infected mosquitoes continue to be reported from MDPH and on Friday September 6th we were advised of a confirmed human case in a Sudbury youth.  Sudbury’s risk level for EEE as designated by MDPH has been raised to critical and Wayland was raised to high.  Our local mitigation efforts are in response to the continual spreading of EEE through the commonwealth including Middlesex County.  The Town and Board of Health are following the guidelines in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) 2019 Arbovirus Surveillance and Response Plan which includes recommendations for a response to include adulticide to achieve mosquito vector control during times of high risk for EEE.  We have chosen to restrict field use/outdoor activities with more conservative time constraints of no field activity between 6pm and 8am and strongly recommend that no outdoor gatherings take place between these hours.

This situation should be taken very seriously.   Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is an extremely rare but serious and often fatal infection that causes encephalitis or inflammation of the brain. It is spread by the bite of a mosquito infected with EEE virus and can also infect a wide range of animals including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The spread of EEEV to mammals (including humans and horses) occurs through the bite of infected mosquitoes that feed on both birds and mammals.

Local Risk mitigation plan for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus

Our risk mitigation plan for EEE has been comprehensively developed over the past 24 hours by key town officials that include; Health Department and Board of Health representatives, the School Superintendent, School Department and School Committee representatives, the Town Administrator and Selectmen representatives, and East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project. Last evening during the Selectmen’s and School Committee’s Meeting, as recommended by the Health Director and Town Administrator, a vote was taken to suspend the schools Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program and allow for spraying of school and town property with pesticides to decrease the population of mosquitos and help reduce the risk of EEE in Wayland. Our plan also includes truck mounted spraying of town roads.  These are important and necessary measures to protect public health due to Wayland being at high risk for EEE virus.  Due to many areas of trees in Town that will not likely get the full benefit of the aerial spraying done by the state, we feel that it is still very important to move forward with our own Town plan to reduce mosquito populations.

Information on Town efforts.

At dusk on beginning on Wednesday September 11, 2019 our contracted partner The East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project will treat Wayland’s roads via truck mounted spraying with Anvil 10+10 ULV(weather permitting).  They will also treat vegetated perimeter areas of Town playing fields via manual backpack spraying method using the pesticide Mavrik Perimeter spray; those areas include Alpine, Town Building, Cochituate, and Riverview fields and the Hannah Williams Playground, as well as the perimeter of fields/playgrounds at each of our five schools and The Children’s Way Preschool. The manual backpack spraying method specifically targets the perimeter areas of vegetation and wood areas that surround the fields/playgrounds. Spraying onto fields and playgrounds will not be performed as mosquitoes do not reside in these open areas.  The target areas of spraying do not cause special precautions to be taken other than personal responsibility to not be outside when the spraying occurs.

Using the Ultra Low Volume sprayer to apply Anvil 10+10 isn’t expected to cause negative environmental impacts. This product and method has been used by many people for many years with minimal reports of adverse effects. They avoid spraying around water and spray after sunset to avoid bees. There are two employees in each truck to assist with watching for people and when people are seen, the spray is turned off. The passenger helps navigate so the driver can concentrate on driving and watching out for people. Less than one tablespoon of the active product, Sumithrin, is applied per acre. Also, less than one tablespoon of the synergist, pipernoyl butoxide, is applied per acre.  Its designed to kill something the size of a mosquito, besides honeybees, larger insects are not affected. Spraying after sunset minimizes honeybee exposure. The state used Anvil 10+10 during the aerial applications in 2012 and 2019. No bee mortality was reported. The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture works closely with beekeepers to make sure our methods don’t harm their hives.

The areas treated using Mavrik perimeter spray will be posted before spraying begins and for 72 hours after the treatments are completed (which may take up to 5 days depending on weather and progress).  The perimeter spray is not considered toxic to individuals or bees, as they are not outside their hive pollinating during the time frame when spraying occurs.  Once the vegetation dries from the spray after dawn, contact with the vegetation is not considered harmful.

During the day

Adult mosquito spraying helps control mosquito populations but does not eliminate the risk of disease.  The most effective way to reduce the risk of mosquito bites (and therefore exposure to EEE infected mosquitoes) is to protect the skin from mosquito bites at all times and avoid areas where mosquitoes are abundant.  Wear clothes that protect skin from mosquito bites at all times; clothes should be worn that include long sleeves, pants and socks.  Apply mosquito repellent with DEET as per instructions on the product label(repellent should be used during the day also). We encourage parents to utilize lasting mosquito repellent on their children to reduce the number of applications needed during the school day. For students who are participating in outdoor physical activity or if the weather is warm/hot, additional repellent may be needed if product labels indicate. All mosquito repellent application should occur in an outdoor setting prior to activities with a product provided from home.  Other at risk populations, including our seniors should be made aware and efforts should be diligent with precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

Questions about school recess

Parents should ensure that kids have mosquito repellent applied before school, and should send repellent and/or bug spray wipes to school with their children.  Students should stay away from the woods or where there is vegetation or standing ponds at recess or other classroom activities. Each school will identify which areas make up these areas and notify students/families and staff. School staff will monitor these areas when students are outside. When kids are at recess they are not to go near areas where there are mosquitoes; buggy areas such as the woods or adjacent vegetated areas.

Use of fields/outdoor sports and other outdoor activities

We encourage families who have children who participate in outdoor sports to have mosquito repellent available to their child from home. Application of mosquito repellent should occur outdoors and prior to the start of activity. Review product label to determine frequency of application needed when performing sweat producing activities.

We are advising that all field activities cease between 6pm and 8am.  All residents should seriously consider staying indoors from 6pm to 8am as well. We recommend all outdoor evening activities/events to be rescheduled to the daytime hours, when there are fewer mosquitoes around. This will continue until after a hard frost and a reevaluation of the situation takes place.  

Traveling outdoors and outside of town

Residents are advised to use safety precautions and be cognizant of where they are traveling within the commonwealth.  EEE virus risk continues to spread, the risk levels are changing regularly, and the risk remains with us until after the first hard frost.  People can greatly reduce their risk by protecting themselves from mosquito bites and using common sense.  When venturing outdoors wear long sleeves, pants, socks, and use mosquito repellent as per the instructions on the label.  Don’t venture to areas outdoors that may be buggy such as; the woods, swampy or wet areas and if visiting a town that is at critical or high risk for EEE, stay indoors after 6pm or before 8am.

Additional information can be found on the Health Department website:www.wayland.ma.us/health-department

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