BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Mosquito spraying begins over much of southeastern Massachusetts Thursday night as state health officials raise the threat of eastern equine encephalitis, commonly known as Triple E.
The rare but potentially fatal disease is carried by mosquitoes. So far, no human cases have been reported.
Aerial spraying will be done in the early evenings and overnight; because the spraying flights are dependent on the weather and other factors, the Department of Public Health said exact times wouldn't be available until "late in the day."
The communities affected by the spraying are as follows:
In Bristol County, Raynham, Taunton, Dighton, Berkley, Freetown, and Acushnet are all entirely in the spray zone; Easton, Norton, Rehoboth, Swansea, Fall River, Dartmouth, New Bedford, and Fairhaven are all partially affected.
In Plymouth County, Whitman, Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Hanson, Halifax, Plympton, Kingston, Carver, Middleborough, Lakeville, and Rochester are all entirely in the spray zone; Brockton, Rockland, Hanover, Pembroke, Duxbury, Plymouth, Wareham, Marion, and Mattapoisett are all partially in the zone.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources has an online map showing the spraying zones, which can be viewed here.
The pesticide is not harmful to humans, but kills mosquitoes on contact.
Residents are asked to keep pets inside during spraying, though the Department of Public Health says any pets outside during spraying would not be expected to experience adverse affects.
More information about the spraying, including frequently asked questions, can be viewed here at mass.gov.