Tag Archives: mosquito spraying

What we can learn from anti-zika spraying

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 8/9/16

Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and people.

So, health authorities have been working on the twin challenges of eradicating mosquitoes and educating people.

Transmission of Zika virus from mosquitoes to people (and vice versa) in the continental US has occurred only in one small tropical enclave: a square mile (or now it seems even less) of Miami. Pennsylvanians might worry about catching zika from travelers returning from the Rio Olympics but not from mosquitoes this summer so far north. (1)

However, we should be worrying about the effects of being sprayed with pesticides, of which there is really no safe level for the environment and human exposure.

As someone involved in the current campaign to cut down on both mosquitoes and pesticide spraying in West Chester, I think we can learn a lot from zika, even if it is not currently being transmitted by mosquitoes anywhere near us.

Many insects, like the viruses that attack the human body, reproduce quickly and can develop resistance to whatever we throw against them. As doctors turn from one antibiotic to another to find one that still kills a given virus, so health officials experiment to see what still kills different mosquito species.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, the chief transmitter of zika, is particularly problematic for traditional mosquito elimination programs and the standard anti-mosquito pesticide permethrin, a pesticide usually applied from ground-based equipment such as trucks. (2) …

continue reading at Politics: A View from West Chester, 8/9/16


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A Q&A with Margaret Hudgings: An interview with leader of local group questioning mosquito spraying

by Nathanniel Smith, The Times of Chester County, September 29, 2015

My opinion piece “Mosquito spraying: why doesn’t the county want to
talk about it?” in the Times of Chester County, August 31, asked many
questions. Since then I’ve found many answers, including from talking
with the County Health Department, and many new questions too. One
thing I’ve learned is how complex this subject is, since it depends
on the always lively interaction of the human and the scientific.

I think West Chester has a good opportunity now, as this year’s
mosquito season trails off, for cooperation between citizens, the
Health Department, and the Borough government (and the same could
apply in other municipalities.

For now, I have written up an interview with Margaret Hudgings, who
has been leading the citizens group (of which I have been part) that
is dialoguing with the Health Department and the Borough in an effort
to avoid public insecticide spraying if at all possible….

continue reading at The Times of Chester County

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