PESTICIDE APPLICATION OF MAJOR FESTPAC FACILITIES

For Immediate Release

May 4, 2016; 4:05pm

DPHSS Release No. 2016-034

Pesticide Application of Major FESTPAC Facilities

Due to the concern of introducing mosquito-borne diseases into Guam, particularly Zika virus, Dengue Fever, and Chikungunya, the Division of Environmental Health of this Department, has requested assistance through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct insecticide application at the major FestPac facilities, including those Guam Department of Education schools identified as lodging sites for the visiting delegates who will be participating at the Festival of the Pacific Arts 2016 (FestPac).  The spraying will occur only after students have been dismissed.

The CDC has contracted with a vendor, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI), who is on island and will be applying insecticides to control adult and larval mosquitoes not only at the lodging sites but also at major FestPac facilities starting Friday, May 6 to 22, 2016.  VDCI will be applying two insecticides, Suspend® SC (Deltamethrin), and VectoBac® WDG (Bacillus thuringiensis, subsp. israelensis).  Both Suspend® SC and VectoBac® WDG are registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for mosquito control.  The National Pesticide Information Center has generated fact sheets for Suspend® SC and VectoBac® WDG, and attached. 

The decision to spray is a precaution to ensure that mosquito-borne diseases, such as Zika virus, Dengue Fever, and Chikungunya do not become introduced and established on Guam.  Based on the insecticide labels, the threat to human health is minimal and has low toxicity.  However, the Office of the Pesticide Programs of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated: “Where possible, persons who potentially are more sensitive, such as pregnant women and infants (less than two years old), should avoid any unnecessary pesticide exposure.”

The public is reminded to protect themselves against mosquito bites and eliminate mosquito breeding sites. Residents are encouraged to use an EPA registered insect repellant for mosquitoes.  When used as directed, insect repellent is the best way to protect yourself from mosquito bites – even children and pregnant women should protect themselves.  Residents should wear long-sleeved shirts and pants during prolonged outdoor activities.  When available, residents can keep mosquitoes outside by using air conditioning or by repairing and using window/door screens.  Residents can prevent mosquitos from laying their eggs by disposing of items that can collect water, such as old tires, potted plants and containers (i.e., birdbaths, pet dishes, wheelbarrows, rain catchments, trash bins), and filling in any low areas where water can puddle.   

For further information, please contact the Mosquito Control and Surveillance Program of DEH at 735-7221.

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