DANIEL GILREIN COURTESY PHOTO | An adult deer tick, which are known to carry pathogens causing Lyme disease, babesiosis or anaplasmosis.
A proposed law introduced recently to aggressively address tick-borne illnesses was unanimously approved by the Suffolk County Legislature’s Public Works and Transportation Committee on Tuesday, and will go to the full legislature for a vote next Tuesday at its meeting in Riverhead.
The proposed law would require the Suffolk County Vector Control to submit an annual plan that indicates steps being taken to reduce the incidence of tick-borne illnesses — including work to be done, active measures being taken and an analysis to determine the effectiveness of the program.
Vector Control has focused mainly on mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus. However language in the bill itself states that “an individual is 300 times more likely to contract Lyme’s disease than mosquito-borne West Nile Virus.”
County Legislator Al Krupski, a co-sponsor of the bill, called Lyme disease an epidemic on the east end of Long Island. And at a deer forum held last week in Southold, leaders highlighted the fact that tickborne illnesses are an issue on the North Fork.
“Most of us have been impacted in some way by tick-borne disease,” he said in a recent release. “Suffolk County needs to play an active role to control this growing health problem.”
Aerial spraying of mosquito control pesticides will be taking place over a number of North Fork marshesTuesday, county officials announced Monday.
Suffolk County’s vector control division of the Department of Public Works plans to treat parts of several salt marshes throughout the county by spraying by helicopter in order to control mosquito larvae, officials said.
The department will use a “low altitude, large droplet liquid application,” of Altoside, which is a brand name for the insecticide, methoprene.
The spraying is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 27, from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the various locations.
In Riverhead Town, spraying is planned for marshes near Crescent Duck Farm in Aquebogue, Millar Farm in Aquebogue (north of Cases Creek), Pier Avenue in Northville, and a site listed as “Aquebogue Farm.” It was not immediately clear where that last marsh is located.
In Southold Town, spraying is scheduled for Great Hog Neck in Southold, Kerwin Boulevard in Greenport, Pipes Neck Creek in Greenport and Pipes Cove in Greenport.
Officials say that if weather conditions prevent the scheduled work, spraying will be continue the next suitable day.