1,000 acres of wetlands sprayed for mosquitoes in East Longmeadow

A helicopter will be flying from Leahy Field Thursday morning until noon spraying the 1,000 acres of wetlands.


EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Just as the sun came up Thursday morning, a helicopter took off from Leahy Field in east Longmeadow its mission, to spray for mosquitoes.

It’s something the town has been doing since 1991.

Throughout the morning, the chopper flew close to the ground, spraying 1,000 acres of wetlands with a material called BTI.

“Residents didn’t need to take any precautions, this is a natural occurring soil bacterium that is completely safe for all mammals, so the only thing residents probably noticed was a low flying helicopter around town today,” said Aimee Petrosky, the Health Director in East Longmeadow.

This technology is a big step up from the foggers that were put on pickup trucks decades ago. The chopper used Leahy field to land and refill the spray tanks as needed.

The helicopter had to land about once every hour to refill, and landed right on top of the truck where tanks of that material were being kept.

This is the same material that has been used in years past, residents told 22News they’ve noticed a difference.

“You can definitely tell there’s somewhat of a difference, especially with the kids and everything like that. Usually they would be complaining and they’re not as much. I just think it works a lot better,” said Lindsay Desotell, a resident in East Longmeadow.

The money for the mosquito spraying comes out of the town’s budget. Depending on the price of the material, it can cost between 10 and 15,000 dollars.

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