Pesticide spraying planned in Washtenaw & Livingston County after EEE detected

Posted at 6:25 PM, Oct 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-01 18:25:55-04

HAMBURG TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — The state health department has sent out notice. We are dealing with a public health emergency.

It is responding to the death of a horse in Hamburg Township infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis or EEE, a virus spread by mosquitoes that is also deadly for humans with action.

Parts of Washtenaw and Livingston County will be sprayed with a mosquito killing pesticide known as Merus 3.0 from the sky.

“It is a big concern on everybody’s mind,” said Craig Mestach, a Hamburg Township Resident.

People are concerned about EEE, and also about the safety of the pesticide.

“What about the bees?” asked Drinda Osborne. “What about the butterflies?”

“It is a toxin. It is a chemical. And when you spray it in the air, where does that go?” said Angela Haddix, a concerned resident.

Matthew Bolang from the Livingston County Health Department spoke to address such concerns today at the Hamburg Township Board meeting.

“We have been told based on the dosage rate and the type of product being used there is minimal, if any health risk,” said Bolang of the pesticide.

He recommended people stay indoors in the evening or wear bug spray to repel mosquitos. He says the spraying which will be done by the state will happened between the hours of 10 pm and 4 am - to target mosquitoes and limit human exposure.

“The bees should be in their hives at that time. The product does break down pretty quickly,” he said.

The timing also limits human exposure.

If you have concerns you can reach out to the state health department. If you want to opt out of having the treatment over your property, you can email and include your name and full residential address. Then the spraying will not happen within a 1000-foot-radius of your property.

In Kalamazoo County spraying was cancelled because so many people opted out.

“I don’t think you should be able to opt out of it because everybody is affected by this EEE. It is dangerous and has to be taken care of,” said Mestach.