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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Mosquito spraying experiences

    I wrote a story for the papers in our region, bringing up the concerns of local farmers, beekeepers etc. about the state's (Massachusetts) plan to spray Anvil to kill mosquitoes.

    I want to do a follow-up on results that people like yourself experience when this kind of spraying is done. There seem to be little in the way of follow-up by the State..

    Anecdotes, links to study, personal opinions are fine, and if you can, contact information for follow-ups.

    Thanks, Frank Mand, Plymouth Massachusetts

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Morgan, Utah, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Mosquito spraying experiences

    Dogd,

    We have an intensive mosquito abatement (MA) program locally. They used to use pyrethrum, which is the chrysanthemum derivitive, but have now switched to a synthetic version--a pyrethroid--which is the same active ingredient in Anvil.

    The sprayers come by our house 2-3 times per week during summer on evenings when there is little or no wind. They spray approx. 80 yards away from my hive. Pyrethroids are fatal to bees, but I have never seen any direct consequences on my hive. For one, they spray at dusk or later, when mosquitos are out full force and bees are tucked in for the night. Secondly, it's possible the chemical does not reach the hive, or is too dilute by the time it travels the distance. the chem is often mixed in a water/oil carrier, so I assume it's heavy enough to fall to the ground rather quickly.

    I checked the hive every morning after the evening spraying for the first two weeks of this year's MA, and never noticed dead bees or a sickly hive. They are robust as ever and seem to have escaped the insecticide's effects (as have many mosquitos).

    I live across the street from a lake in Utah at 6500' elevation in a high mountain desert climate. Any other info or questions, feel free to PM me.

    Hope this helps,

    Anja
    If I'm neither sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, nor melancholy, does that mean I'm out of humour?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Mosquito spraying experiences

    You're the first response, and I appreciate how detailed you are. I am surprised by how much spraying they do in your area. Aren't there concerns, or objections by farmers? At the least it means washing their produce before market, but Anvil also kills mosquito predators such as dragonflies, and for organic farmers the issue is obvious.

    And if they spray so much in your area, isn't that an indication that it isn't working? What do they do for the long-term reduction in the mosquito population?

    Here they spray very little, and oftentimes when testing indicates high concentrations of various viruses (EEE or West Nile) they spray aerially - which is hard to control.

    Then there is the issue of the long-lasting effects of insecticides on bees.

    Thanks again for your initial response. Let me know if you have other information, links, ect.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,849

    Default Re: Mosquito spraying experiences

    I had 5 hives seriously set back by mosquito spraying a couple weeks ago. Mosquito control is supposed to stop spraying near the hives if given a GPS coordiate. They spray late so most of the bees will be in. I called and they were very apologetic and asked if I wanted to submit a claim for reimbursal. It turns out pesticides and chemicals have a warning label. If the applicator does not follow the directions they are in violation of federal law. So even though they are government employees or contracted by the government, they can be fined or imprisoned for grievous violations. The fine is up to $50,000 per incident. The label clearly states that they are harmful to bees - hence they cannot spray where they know bees are present.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Morgan, Utah, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Mosquito spraying experiences

    dogd,

    There are only two products here in Antimony: beef and recreation. The crops are solely for the ranchers' use for feeding cattle over the winter. Acres and acres of alfalfa is the only thing grown here and only the beef goes to market. Nothing organically produced in this valley, and no interest that I know of, I'm sad to say. There's only 150 people living here, and almost all are fourth-generation ranchers who have "progressed" to the point of loving their insecticides, but no further.
    We have an extremely short growing season: about 80 days. The mosquito season is also short but very intense-usually only 4-6 weeks with ideal conditions. Already, though it's mid-August, the mosquitos are dying off because it's down to 40 degrees at night, with freezing temps in another week or two.
    The sprayers' area is the stretch of highway between the lake and the river, where most of the mosqs breed. Unfortunately, we live right in between (my husband is the Ranger in charge of the State Park and lake across the street from our house). The sprayers drive through the park, too. People are willing to have a lot of insecticide use because the alternative is to affect their recreation. My children have not been able to play outside for two weeks because the mosquitos are out of control, despite the spraying.
    Does this indicate that it doesn't work? There is a big die-down of mosqs the day after spraying, but if it rains at all, their numbers shoot back up in a day.
    I don't know of any long-term plans for mosquito control. I think the system in use has been accepted and effective for the industries' demands. There are no other beekeepers in the area.
    Wikipedia has some decent articles on pyrethrum and its related chemicals, including Anvil. They discuss the aeration methods and absorption levels by plants and soil. Hope this helps.

    Anja
    If I'm neither sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, nor melancholy, does that mean I'm out of humour?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,849

    Default Re: Mosquito spraying experiences

    They sprayed for three straight days, day and night, before President Reagan came to Parris Island, SC. The spraying stopped one hour before the President's speach. EVery sand flea and mosquito came out in force for fresh blood before the hour was up. Living with the bugs every day, I just had to smile! The Recruits are trained not to swat or scratch either. I know they were hiding some grins that day when the press and political entourage was swatting and scratching like freaks.

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