- Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2015

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) - The town of Westerly is using helicopters to spray mosquito larvicide on about 500 acres of swampland.

Officials with the state Department of Environmental Management say the spraying that’s starting Friday is part of an effort to reduce the risk of eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus in Rhode Island.

Department officials say mosquitoes carrying the EEE virus have been found in Chapman Swamp in Westerly.

The spray prevents larvae from maturing into adult mosquitoes but is made up of naturally occurring bacteria. Officials say it is harmless to people and the environment.

The town has sprayed larvicide annually for the past 18 years.

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