Sunday, July 20, 2008

Malathion and mosquitoes

Mosquitoes. Our community has a bumper crop this year. Tourists are fleeing because of them. The local newspaper has weekly letters to the editor beseeching local government to activate a insecticide spray program. After eight weeks of intense pressure from the local citizens, tourists and mosquitoes, the local government began a spray program on Friday evening.

At 10 pm on this lovely clear-sky, warm, full moon night, it was necessary to bring everyone, including all the critters, indoors. All the windows, and doors needed to be closed. Stifling hot.

The entire neighbourhood was fogged with malathion insecticide.

I am struggling with this -- it is absolutely wonderful to be without as many mosquitoes. But it also means bees (already in crisis) are killed. Dragonflies and all other harmless, necessary insects die too.

We were notified late on Friday afternoon that the fogging would take place. We were told to not enter the treated area (our entire neighbourhood!) for 24 hours.

That had to be ignored because the pets needed out in the morning, and things needed to be done.

This area has always had an abundance of mosquitoes. It truly has been uglier than usual this year.

How do other communities manage their mosquitoes?? Surely, there are more successful, less toxic management programs in place.

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