Westerly, R.I. (AP) — The city of Westerly is applying a larvicide to 500 acres of swamp to try to keep the mosquito population at bay.
The state Department of Environmental Management says the larvicide will be applied to the targeted areas Friday. They include parts of Chapman Swamp and an area adjacent to Hespar Drive. Officials have conducted the spraying annually since 1997.
The state says the larvicide is extremely safe and that spraying by communities is recommended to mitigate West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis.
The state doesn't recommend widespread aerial spraying, but officials say it's needed at the swamp because of its large size and the fact that infected mosquitoes have been found there.
More spray could be applied on other days. Residents will be notified ahead of time.