Aug 10, 2010
In response to recent reports about the growing number of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus infections occurring from mosquito bites, some municipalities in the Eastern U.S. are planning to conduct aerial insecticide spraying on neighborhoods and farms. But not everyone is pleased with this, including several Mass. organic farmers whose properties could be destroyed by the endeavor.
A recent Taunton Daily Gazette article highlights the concerns of several families in the area that tend organic farms. They say that, not only will the spraying harm the integrity of their crops, it will have devastating, long-lasting effects on the natural environment in general.
Contrary to popular belief, there are natural ways to help keep mosquitos at bay, including maintaining a healthy population of dragonflies which are known to eat mosquitos and their larvae. And insecticide spraying not only kills mosquitos, but it likely kills every other insect as well, including dragonflies.
Residents are also concerned about how the spraying affects honeybee populations. Honeybees have been in decline throughout the U.S., probably due to excessive pesticide exposure. According to locals, every time their area is sprayed, many of these honeybees die. And since honeybees are necessary for crop pollination, an important part of agriculture is destroyed.
Ironically, area residents say that mosquitos are down this year, and they do not understand why officials are in a panic over the situation.
Opponents to the spraying are urging officials to think about the damage spraying causes in the long term and consider other alternatives. They say that the damage caused by aerial spraying far outweighs any purported benefits.
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This article was posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 3:38 am