Mosquito spraying in certain counties prompting residents to ask what's in it

WORCESTER, Mass. — Mosquito spraying is happening in several communities in Worcester and Middlesex counties through 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning. But not everyone is on board with the process.

Two planes took off from Worcester Airport Monday, making their way across several towns to kill as many mosquitos as possible with an aerial spray.

"The state seems to be pushing this on people whether they want it or not," said Ken Moulton, of Oxford.

Some residents down below worry about the safety of those chemicals. Moulton says, even though the spray will kill mosquitoes that could carry the deadly EEE virus, he questions whether it’ll also kill off insects that are good for the environment.

"But not only that, birds will come along and eat those insects," Moulton said. "Frogs eat those insects, turtles eat those insects, turtles eat those insects and it's going to make them sick and maybe they'll die."

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"This product has been used for decades now in mosquito control and the CDC and the EPA have both said when used according to label directions, it poses no undue risks to humans or the environment," said Laura McGowan, the spokesperson for Clarke, the company hired by the state to conduct the aerial sprays.

McGowan says the pesticide they use is Anvil 10+10, and that it's overall very safe.

"It is used, specifically designed to interact with the mosquito's biology," she said. "The droplets size are as small as 17 microns, so several of those droplets will fit on the head of a pin."

And she says once the chemical hits the ground, on either water or soil, it immediately starts to decompose.

Moulton says he's all for keeping those dangerous mosquitos away with repellent or a private company spraying your property, if you choose.

"That has much less of an impact on the environment than just arbitrarily flying over in an airplane and dropping chemicals on the environment," he said. "I don't like that and I don't like [that] the state is dumping it on us."

The company conducting the sprays already completed the aerial sprays in Plymouth and Bristol counties last week. They say they've never had to fly planes out of Worcester and that it just shows how quickly EEE is spreading.