Mosquito spraying

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  1. Pcunix profile image90
    Pcunixposted 13 years ago

    The stupid town is spraying for mosquitos tonight and has warned us to shut our windows.  Too bad they cannot warn the birds and the bees.  Double whammy for the birds - sicken them with poison and kill off a food supply.

    Bees? Who cares?  They are only important for pollinating much of the food we eat.  Plenty of other pollinating insects - what, the poison gets them too? 

    Oh well.  It is much more important that Little Leage and Pop Warner get to play their night games. That's IMPORTANT.

    1. Chaotic Chica profile image61
      Chaotic Chicaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      You know I often think about those things and more when I hear/smell that truck coming.  I understand that by spraying for mosquitos, we reduce the chances of getting sick via and infected insect, I really do.  That's why there are all kinds of personal repellent options out there. It just doesn't seem truly safe to just randomly spray poison into the air.  I guess we civilians just don't understand what the entitled politicians are privy to, that's why they know best.

      1. Pcunix profile image90
        Pcunixposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        It isn't the politicians.  It is townspeople demanding it.

        1. profile image0
          jerrylposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I think we should spray for politicians, lobbyists and corrupt corporate execs.

    2. profile image0
      china manposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      A triumph of want over reason - as you say, the environmental damage is enourmous, but then nobody can actually see the birds dying and the decimation of a huge variety of insects that make up their part of the complexity of the environment.

    3. ledefensetech profile image68
      ledefensetechposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      That's just dumb.  Perhaps you'll feel better when something like the West Nile virus gets a foothold in your town or something like the female Anopheles mosquito makes a comeback in the US.  But who really cares, I mean the only people who have to suffer from malaria are the Africans.  Banning DDT and the concomitant human death and suffering is probably the most racist thing out there.

      CM it's more of a triumph of ideology over reason.  You might be willing to sacrifice human beings to disease but I am not.

      1. kerryg profile image84
        kerrygposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        The point is, there are ways to control mosquitoes that don't result in poison being sprayed all over every living thing in the area, including the creatures that help keep mosquito populations in check naturally.

        I'm not saying poison doesn't sometimes have a place, but it should never be a first resort. All you'll end up with are resistant mosquitoes running amok because their natural predators are all dead.

        DDT resistance among mosquitoes in the US was observed as early as 1956, just 7 years after it was put into widespread use. Resistance levels are also high enough in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Turkey, Central America, and many parts of India to make it essentially useless on a large scale. It not the panacea you seem to believe.

        1. ledefensetech profile image68
          ledefensetechposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          You're right, of course, but the big problem I have with many (lefty) ideas is that they categorically limit options.  I saw someone here talk about using bats as a way to control mosquitoes.  Which isn't a bad idea, but what if using bats is less effective than using spray?  What happens if I live next to someone who uses those bats and now I have more mosquitoes in my yard, because I assume mosquitoes don't really care about property lines?

          Which is why "one size fits all" solutions don't work.  This issue is really a community one. 

          Kerry, I'd like to see some of those reports where you mention resistance.  Not news articles mind you, but the underlying research those reports were based on.  I don't really trust reporters.  Too much bias.  On both sides.  Of any issue.

          Rebekah, thanks for that bit of refreshing reason.  Then again you're living in mosquito central.  Didn't Florida have a bad problem with malaria before DDT?

          1. kerryg profile image84
            kerrygposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            Much of the relevant historical and scientific context I was citing can be found here:

            For the actual footnotes, I'm afraid you'll have to look at the books in question.

            Bats are less effective than spray in the short term, but in the long term they are more effective, which is why you need to balance control efforts. Spraying an entire town without regard to where it will do the most good and where it will do more harm than good is not balanced.

            1. ledefensetech profile image68
              ledefensetechposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              Cool, thanks for the link.  I find it's better to read the source material than someone's digest of it.  People do, after all, have biases.  That is what peer review is supposed to combat, at least when it's done correctly.  It'll be interesting to see if any of the sources provided in that link were peer reviewed.

              1. kerryg profile image84
                kerrygposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                It certainly is, but mosquito resistance to DDT (and development of resistance to chemical pesticides, herbicides, etc. in pests and weeds in general) is an extremely well established phenomenon - BIO 101, really. Which is why going out and indiscriminately spraying an entire town is counter productive.

                In the short term, you'll have success, but in the long term (if 7 years can really be considered long term) you'll be worse off than when you started. That's why Integrated Pest Management and other techniques that emphasize long term solutions to pest problems are so important.

                1. ledefensetech profile image68
                  ledefensetechposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                  After reading up on the site you sent, it sounds like the reason we have problems with resistance is because 1. spraying in places like Sri Lanka stopped and 2. some places like Equatorial Africa were never sprayed in the first place. 

                  It is possible to eradicate disease.  We did it with smallpox.  I do see your point about using methods other than spraying, perhaps a fusion of techniques.  Sooner or later you're going to push the pest population below their recovery level.  It happens all the time.  90% of all species which have ever lived have gone extinct.  Bugs are a bit of a problem, though, they survived even the K-T extinction event relatively unscathed.

    4. gracenotes profile image89
      gracenotesposted 13 years agoin reply to this


      For sure, I understand your concerns.  I never spray anything in my back yard, much less use commercial fertilizers on my lawn.

      But a year ago, everyone in my neighborhood got a warning that there was a case of West Nile Virus nearby.  Health department was required to post a notice a half mile in all directions from the affected citizen's home.  Of course, the notice contained advice about mosquito prevention.  I'm not aware of any spraying campaigns in this city, though.

      I'm not sure what the answer is.  A purple martin house, anyone?  Bat houses work well, I understand, although it might take a few years for bats to take up residence in it.  Understandably, though, some people would be nervous of the connotations of bats.

      Personally, I'm trying to set up a residence in my back yard that a toad would like.  I'm not sure I've been successful. smile

    5. leeberttea profile image57
      leebertteaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Here they often close the parks as a way to "protect" the public from mosquitoes that might be carrying the dreaded West Nile Virus.

      Personally I think they should leave well enough alone. In CT last year there was 69 reported cases of West Nile Virus and 2 deaths. Hardly seems worth the risks to the environment to spray. It would be better to educate the public. Children, the elderly, and the weak or infirm should stay indoors in the evenings, the rest of us should be able to withstand West Nile Virus should we happen to contract it.

      1. ledefensetech profile image68
        ledefensetechposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        That logic is kind of twisted, don't you think?  Only 2 people died, so instead of spraying, kids and the elderly should stay indoors during dusk hours.  I'm sure that's a great comfort to the families of those two dead people.  Not to mention to the families of the 69 who got sick and their families probably thought they were going to die.

        1. leeberttea profile image57
          leebertteaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          That's your view and you're entitled to it. It's no more twisted logic than closing the parks at dusk as if the mosquitoes will just stay in the parks.

          CT has a population of 3.5 million and only 69 got sick, that's .00197%. What percentage of the population would be affected by the spraying of pesticides? That's much harder to measure. West Nile isn't fatal for healthy adults, but those that are susceptible should take necessary precautions, just like we were all asked to do with hand sanitizer with the swine flu scare.

          1. ledefensetech profile image68
            ledefensetechposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            Well the evidence seems to point to no human effects from pesticide spraying.  Heck I just had my apartment sprayed for bugs and aside from having to leave for a few hours due to the smell, no side effects noted.  I was a bit surprised to see that the pest control people did not wear masks.  That's a pretty good indicator of how harmless these agents are to humans.

            I've seen guys wearing masks because they're varnishing something.  I doubt very much the pest control guys don't wear masks because they're trying to prove how tough they are.

            1. profile image0
              china manposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              You are taking a very shallow view of things.You are saying there is some link/proof  that the guy who sprayed your apartment did not wear a mask makes large scale spraying safe is disngenuous and is about your lack of information.  Masks keep out some things and not others, they are useful sometimes and not others, your guys may just be incompetent.

              Also your argument where you claim that 'logically' there should be no spraying because 2 people died and some got sick, is childish.  This is the same faulty argument as banning cars because people get killed crossing roads.

              DDT was banned because it was proved to be hugely destructive to the environment -  just because there is no proven link to direct damage to humans does not change that. We live in a whole environment - not just the little enclosed room that you imagine

              1. ledefensetech profile image68
                ledefensetechposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                I'll chalk up your problems with my logic as unfamiliarity with the English language.

                My first point about the bug guys was to illustrate the fact that if there was human issues with bug spray, they'd be the first to know because it would be an occupational hazard for them.  Since they work with the stuff on a daily basis and don't see the need for protection, why should we?  They are exposed on a daily basis and in much higher doses than the population at large, yet are not affected by it.  That seems like pretty strong evidence that there isn't much to worry about.

                I never linked spraying with people dying.  If you reread what I wrote, you will find that I had a problem with letting two people die from mosquito borne illness rather than the use of bug spray.  You might want to read a little more closely instead of just spouting off whatever comes to mind.

                Silent Spring was the only reason DDT was banned.  You probably aren't aware that DDT was used inside buildings not sprayed indiscriminately.  At least not here in the States.

  2. Misha profile image63
    Mishaposted 13 years ago

    Umm, I feel upside down. What I could expect from LDT I see from Pcunix, and vice versa yikes

    1. ledefensetech profile image68
      ledefensetechposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      How so?

      1. Misha profile image63
        Mishaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Cause this is what government does smile

        1. ledefensetech profile image68
          ledefensetechposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Not really.  If the people of the town want to spray, for whatever reason, they can.  It's people like pcunix who screw things up by wanted to blanket "one size fits all" solution to things.  A smaller government tends to be more responsible to it's citizens than a large government.  But that's not what pcunix is talking about.

          He's a greenie and wants everyone to live the hippie lifestyle, no matter the cost.  There is a reason that movement failed, in the end.  Rather than accept the fact that there might be people who want to protect themselves from disease, watch Little League games free of the irritation of mosquitoes or whatever, he had decided it's the wrong thing to do and wants to deny other people the ability to live mosquito free.

          1. Misha profile image63
            Mishaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            Umm, not being a hippie or greenie, I am closer to him than to you on this. I guess this is what knocked me off - usually I am closer to your position smile

            Homeowners associations often get quite crazy, you know, so the size of a government is not really an indicator of its sanity smile

            1. ledefensetech profile image68
              ledefensetechposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              Yeah, but if you disagree with an homeowner's association then you can just quit paying the fees associated with the association.  If you can't because of the homeowner's agreement, then you really weren't very smart when you signed the agreement were you?  Try not paying taxes when the government doesn't do what you think it should or should not do and see how far you get.

              I'm not really against voluntary associations, those can and do work.  What I'm against are involuntary associations.

              If pcunix wants to live in a place that doesn't spray, well then he should do some homework to find a ideologically compatible match.  We do, after all, still retain the right to vote with our feet.

              1. Misha profile image63
                Mishaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                That I definitely can agree to. Habitually. What a relief! lol

  3. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 13 years ago

    mosquito spraying serves a purpose. I don't want to imagine what it would be like here in sub tropical Fl without it. the heavy rains and heavily wooded areas make it necessary. I don't like toxins anymore than others, but if the mosquito truck is near, we simply close the doors and make sure the dog is inside.

    spraying at night helps reduce harm to the bee population as they're not out flying.

    it helps to inspect your own yard to make sure there is no standing water, even in something as small as a bottlecap.

  4. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 13 years ago

    the history of mosquito control in Florida is actually rather interesting. early FL saw many death due to mosquito-borne diseases. early settlers used to bury themselves in sand to protect themselves. … ontrol.htm
    Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring and things changed. and I'm actually a fan of Carson's writing. but I believe the spraying is necessary.

    my father who served in Guadalcanal contracted malaria twice and lived through it. he said it was a terrible, miserable disease.

    1. ledefensetech profile image68
      ledefensetechposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Wow, your dad was one of the Few who held that island?  He sounds like a remarkable man.  From what I hear malaria is nothing to sneeze at.  Not as bad as dengue fever, but almost.

      Thanks for the link, I'll be sure to check it out.

      PS About Carson, the reason we stopped spraying wasn't because of the birds, she started a hysteria about the birds being a "canary in the coalmine".  Unfortunately for her, studies in the 1970's showed no link between DDT and human poisoning. … man_health

      What I find interesting about many of the links to supposed health effects on humans is the use of epidemiological studies.  Much like climate models in climatology, epidemiological studies only show correlation, not causation.  Those are, in effect, hypotheses; which are not supposed to have the effect on "proving" a hypothesis that data has.  Until and unless there is a specific link found to those diseases, the hypothesis that DDT is harmful to humans remains unproven.

      1. rebekahELLE profile image86
        rebekahELLEposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        a little bragging rights here.. yes, my father was remarkable, I feel very fortunate. he was treated in a hospital in Australia. I wrote about him in my Fathers Day hub. I touch on his service in WWll.

        since DDT is from an organic compound, it does break down, but it takes decades. it's classified as a persistent organic pollutant, POP. there's a lot of discussion about its long-term effects.
        it's airborne therefore polluting the soil and water. traces of it are found in our food. … inted-food

  5. seller35 profile image53
    seller35posted 13 years ago

    Here in California we do spray for mosquito control. Several people have died due to West Nile disease. One problem due to the recession is abandoned homes---swimming pools turn green and mosquiteos flourish.

  6. Pcunix profile image90
    Pcunixposted 13 years ago

    Years ago I had a termite control guy tell me the same thing about how he and his father had been using this stuff for years and THEY were fine.

    My wife and I were aghast because both of them looked like death warmed over.

    1. ledefensetech profile image68
      ledefensetechposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Was he overweight or a smoker?  You don't know who they are, you just made an assumption based on their occupation.  You know what they say about assumptions, don't you?

      1. Pcunix profile image90
        Pcunixposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        No.  They were both sickly skinny :-)

        Yes, of course this might have had nothing to do with their occupation.  It was just rather astonishing to have people who obviously were NOT healthy brag about their health!

        1. ledefensetech profile image68
          ledefensetechposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Happens all the time.  I thought I was the picture of health when I was 30.  Less than six months after hitting that milestone I was diagnosed with diabetes.  So while you might think you're healthy, unless you really do your homework, you never really know.

        2. Mark Knowles profile image58
          Mark Knowlesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Well, you know - in some cases - if'n you ain't dead yet, you are perfectly healthy. big_smile

        3. rebekahELLE profile image86
          rebekahELLEposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          they may have never been healthy to know what it feels and looks like. I don't think daily exposure to sprayed toxins is healthy.

          a replay of Toxic America is on CNN, Saturday, Aug. 7 at 8 P.M. EST.

          1. Pcunix profile image90
            Pcunixposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            That's true.  For example, smokers often don't realize how crappy they feel until long after they quit and then think "Wow, this is how I am SUPPOSED to feel!"

            It could be exactly the same for other toxins.

  7. Pcunix profile image90
    Pcunixposted 13 years ago

    I believe three people have died from EEE in SE MA since 2004.   It might even be less.

    Aside from environmental damage, this costs a lot of money.

    I'd love to see how the people would react to spending an equivalent amount of money to improve highway safety - automobile accidents have killed thousands of people here since 2004, but I guarantee no one would vote for that.

    Malnutrition in the poor causes more deaths and more lifelong misery too. But we cut those programs immediately.

    I could go on with more examples, of course.

    This is hysterical over reaction.   Stay in at night.   Put up bat houses.   Stop poisoning our world.


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