Jefferson County officials announce aerial spraying
for mosquitoes to combat Eastern Equine Encephalitis


WATERTOWN, N.Y. (Aug. 14, 2020) – The Jefferson County Public Health Service (JCPHS) was notified by the New York State Department of Health that another horse has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE, Triple E). To date, a total of four horses have tested positive for EEE in the area of Perch Lake. Additionally, seven horses have died within the last two weeks with symptoms consistent with EEE – six of which were located in the Perch Lake area and one near Redwood.

EEE is a very rare but serious disease caused by the bite of a mosquito. Mosquitoes infected with EEE virus (EEEV) can infect horses and other mammals, some birds, reptiles, amphibians and people. About five to 10 EEE human cases are reported each year in the U.S. The risk of getting EEE is highest from late July through September. People at the greatest risk of developing severe disease are those older than 50 and younger than 15. There is no specific treatment available for EEE.

JCPHS will use aerial spraying to reduce the mosquitoes in the Perch Lake region. The spraying will take place on a date between Aug. 19 and Aug. 26. Spraying is dependent on weather. JCPHS will publicize the exact date as soon as it is determined.

Aerial spraying is used effectively to control EEE in many areas of New York state. The spraying of Kontrol 30-30 will occur at dusk to target mosquitoes that are active at dusk and to reduce the chance of affecting beneficial insects. The spraying will not take place over open water. Efforts have been made to minimally impact residential areas and croplands. The areas targeted are the breeding and resting places of mosquitoes within the area where the horses have tested positive for EEE. A detailed map of the spray area and the product label are available on the JCPHS website,

You should continue to prevent mosquito bites by:

  • Wearing shoes and socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outside for a long period.

  • Applying a mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 is also recommended to prevent mosquito bites. (Do not put the repellent directly onto children. Put it on your hands and apply it to your child. Do not put insect repellent on your face. Wash skin and clothing after returning indoors. Follow label directions.)

  • Repairing screens in your home so mosquitoes cannot enter.

  • Emptying and scrubbing, turning over, covering, or throwing out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers. This eliminates places for mosquitoes to lay eggs.

If you have any questions, call (315) 786-3720.


(Jefferson County Public Health Service)