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Mosquito spraying experiences

2780 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  AmericasBeekeeper
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
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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
 

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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
 
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