Councilman on mosquito fogging: possible hazards and how to avoid them

With regard to mosquito fogging In Maplewood, residents can contact the County hotline, at 314-615-4284, which should be updated between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursdays based upon mosquito counts that they do a day or two prior to spraying.

They can now verify in-house whether there are mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus in their five districts.

The hotline will post their spraying schedule for that evening. You can also contact St. Louis County Vector Control via email at: vector.doh@stlouisco.com with your home address and email address and they should send you an email around 3:00 on the days they will be spraying. Maplewood is on the Thursday schedule between sundown and midnight.

Maplewood staff is investigating the use of our CodeRED telephone alert system for notifying residents if spraying will be performed that evening. If and when it is implemented, we will notify residents. CodeRED registration can be found at: https://cne.coderedweb.com/Default.aspx?groupid=O%2BOfamWR/PDlzp8cuuUr2A%3D%3D where you can sign up for different types of alerts.

If you are wondering what to do when the spray is being applied:

  • Stay indoors during the application
  • Shut the windows and turn off the air conditioner during the application
  • Bring outdoor pet food and water bowls inside
  • Cover or remove children’s outdoor toys
  • 
Cover or remove small pools, fish ponds, and bird-baths
  • Stay off the treated area until the pesticide is dry

Health effects of pesticides can cause both acute and chronic problems. Acute health effects appear shortly after exposure to these pesticides and can include: skin and eye irritations, headaches, dizziness and nausea, weakness, difficulty breathing, mental confusion and disorientation, seizures, coma, and death. Chronic health effects may not be apparent until months or years after exposure. Such health aliments include nervous, reproductive, and immune system disorders, and cancer. 

Children can be particularly sensitive to exposure to chemicals due to their small body size, immature immune systems and rapid growth cycles. Although everyone is at risk from exposure, the most vulnerable groups are children, pregnant women, the elderly, patients undergoing chemotherapy, and people with compromised immune systems.

For additional information on health risks: http://beyondpesticides.org/mosquito/documents/citizensHealthEffectsMosqP.pdf

For additional information on how spraying affects bees and butterflies: 

https://www.clemson.edu/public/regulator… 

http://news.fiu.edu/2015/04/butterflies-…

Maplewood Councilman Barry Greenberg wrote this to a concerned resident, and gave permission to be published.

12 thoughts on “Councilman on mosquito fogging: possible hazards and how to avoid them

  1. I’m extremely uncomfortable with these mosquito sprays happening. I don’t think most people in Maplewood know this is happening.

  2. Mike, Thank you for doing your homework. There are websites that will support any position a person wants to take and In the haste of responding in a timely manner, I could have and probably should have done more research before responding. The one thing I gathered from looking through dozens of articles on the topic is that solving one problem, adultcide mosquito fogging, creates as many or more dangers and possible dangers to human health, animals, insects and the environment.

  3. So you’re quoting and linking to a 2003 paper written by an intern for a group that doesn’t seem to have much about it on a Google search. Here’s a link on a paper written by a PhD working for the State on Maine in 2013:

    http://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/pesticides/documents2/bd_mtgs/feb14/12b-Risk%20Summary%20final.pdf

    Besides West Nile Virus, mosquitoes here in STL carry various strains of encephalitis and can cause heartworm in dogs.

    As far as the standing water: the biggest offenders in this seem to be our local governments. Go over to Brentwood Park on the west end, at the practice field. Lots of nasty standing water there. I’m pretty sure Maplewood has the same issues.

  4. Does spraying have a quantifiable effect on the mosquito population? Anecdotally, the mosquitoes in my neighborhood were wicked awful last year, even after spraying.

  5. It’s not just the bees, butterflies colonies are being decimated too. You can check out the links I included in the original post for more information on negative effects on beneficial insects.

  6. What about the damage thought to be caused to the bee colonies by such spraying?

  7. I agree with the issue of standing water being a problem. Residents can remove the areas of water or use mosquito dunks, available at Lowes, to reduce mosquito production. Just use as directed. The County also uses larvacide in their program and I don’t think that there are as many drawbacks to placing larvacide in the sewers. I would have to do more research to see if the larvacide affects fish populations as storm water is sent to our waterways. The fog distributed adultcide kills only the mosquitoes that it contacts within 30 minutes of application (once a week), and depending on wind speed and direction, the coverage and effectiveness can vary greatly.

  8. As I see it, the only alternative is to have inspecters make sure that people are not leaving standing water in their gutters, spare tires, pots, other recepticals or leaving dense brush or overgrown lawns and gardens. I see plenty of that. And therefore we have plenty of annoying and potentially dangerous mosquitos that make the summer time, especially the nice evenings when we should be outside, an indoor season. Unless I put plenty of deet on myself and my baby we get many bites. I’m not sure how effective the spraying is, but it is preventing a significant amout of mosquitos from surviving, then I am all for hunkering inside for the roughly 1 hour every other week in which the pesticide is airborne. If I had a cat I would keep them indoors that day.

  9. Thank you so much for posting this information. I have a cat, and I will make sure to follow the necessary precautions. I wish Maplewood would just cease spraying this stuff altogether. 🙁

  10. The chemical used by St. Louis County Vector Control is Aqua-Reslin. The active ingredient is Permethrin. Permethrin is a common synthetic chemical, widely used as an insecticide, acaricide, and insect repellent. It belongs to the family of synthetic chemicals called pyrethroids and functions as a neurotoxin, affecting neuron membranes by prolonging sodium channel activation. It is not known to rapidly harm most mammals or birds, but is dangerously toxic to fish and to cats: in cats it may induce hyperexcitability, tremors, seizures, and even death. Also, do not use flea treatments intended for dogs on cats, if they contain permethrin, it could have fatal consequences.

  11. So in other words, if the mosquitos don’t harm us the pesticides probably will. Especially when the bees are all killed off. Well we’re not creatures that think much about the future are we…