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The Maryland Department of Agriculture Mosquito Control Section is considering reinstating limited spraying for adult mosquitoes in our community since it falls within the area at risk for occurrence of West Nile virus. Spraying will only be done when populations of vector species reach certain threshold levels. The spraying would take place in the evening during the summer months. Spraying is weather-dependent and may be cancelled for a variety of reasons. The Maryland Department of Agriculture's policy is to leave a 300-foot buffer around any spray objector. The only exception to this policy would be if the County Health Officer requests spraying in an area due to a disease situation. They would then override the objector list, but the Town would be required to contact the objectors to inform them of the impending spraying.

The insecticide that would be used is called permethrin in a formulation product known as Permanone 30-30 mixed with a mineral oil. Permethrin is one of the synthetic pyrethroids and has a very low mamalian toxicity. The permethrin is applied using a truck-mounted Ultra Low volume (ULV) at a rate of .003 pounds active ingredient per acre. The equipment is calibrated carefully to put out the correct amount of insecticide and the correct droplet size at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has done a risk assessment of this product and when it is used according to label directions, there are no adverse effects on human health or the environment. People who have respiratory problems or allergies may wish to avoid direct contact with the spray. They may wish to close windows before and during the spraying. Windows may be reopened shortly after the spraying is finished. When permethrin is used in ULV equipment at the rate listed here, it acts as a contact insecticide only and has no residual effect. It will effectively kill mosquitoes which are active at the time of spraying. Mosquitoes which emerge as adults after a spray treatment will not be affected.

Please be aware, spraying for adult mosquitoes will not eliminate Asian tiger mosquito populations in the neighborhood. The best way to control this container-breeding species is to get rid of any water-holding containers in yards throughout the area.

In order to reinstate this limited spraying program, the Town of Riverdale Park needs a list of residents who object to the spraying (name, address, and phone number). We also need a list of any resident that has any ornamental fish ponds or beekeepers in the Town.

If you are a resident that objects, a beekeeper, or have a fish pond, please call the Riverdale Park Public Works office at 301-864-1803.

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