Mosquito fogging: Maplewood councilman doesn’t like it, county says it combats WNV

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Maplewood Ward 3 Councilman Barry Greenberg is concerned about the possible ill effects effects of mosquito fogging by the St. Louis County Health Department on children and pets in Maplewood. He said it’s his understanding that the city has a contract with the county to spray every Thursday evening.

Greenberg said in an email to 40 South News that he would like to at least warn everyone to close their windows and keep children and pets inside. He said he would like to have it eliminated in Maplewood, and has brought it up to the city council, but it didn’t go anywhere.

According to assistant to District 5 County Councilman Pat Dolan, Eric Fey, the county health department does baseline fogging throughout the county. The main concern is to battle the West Nile Virus.

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Fey said, after talking with county health director, Dr. Dolores Gunn, that the county sets traps for mosquitoes to test for West Nile Virus to determine if extra spraying is needed in any particular areas to combat West Nile Virus.

See detailed information on the fogging schedule and how to be notified if it will take place on a specific night where you live.

 

8 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe one person from Maplewood city hall could make that call and then have it sent out on our email alert system with maplewood – this way the county does not get 50 phone calls. Maybe we could get a citizen volunteer to make the call to the county on Thrusdays and then call city hall who could then issue the email to our citzens

  2. I talked with St. Louis County Vector Control and found out that spraying does not occur every Thursday as I had believed. Spraying in Maplewood is done about once a month, last year it was done in June, July, August, and September. You can call the County hotline every Thursday at 314.615.4282 to see if they are spraying that evening. Tom Noftsinger answered my questions and indicated that they spray after sunset, which is somewhat less harmful to the bee population. However, it still lingers on plants and lawns for weeks and gets transferred to children and pets plating outside and is ingested by birds that eat mosquitoes. The combined storm/sanitary sewers we have in Maplewood are designed to hold water and are breeding grounds for larvae. The County uses bacteria in the sewers that targets mosquitoes (and dragonflies) and is supposedly safe otherwise.

    There is a wealth of information on the internet regarding advantages and risks of mosquito fogging and I encourage you to research the topic and draw your own conclusions.

    I would suggest that concerned citizens call the hotline every Thursday to see if spraying has been scheduled for that evening and if it is: keep children and pets inside after sunset, close any open windows until morning, cover vegetables and herbs, and limits your exposure by staying inside.

  3. The problem with spraying is it kills important insects like bees. I would imagine that even when they spray most people would still put on a repellent. I certainly believe West Nile is awful, and I’d hate to catch it. And I HATE mosquitos! But I also know it’s been proven that the spray they use is fatel to bees if they are out foraging and pollinating when the trucks come by. We need the bees…my thought would be we spay ourselves down, (the mosquitos LOVE me so I have to go inside when they come out or spray myself down). Save some of the innocent insects that die from the trucks spraying. There are some natural mosquito sprays that you can make on your own that might be safer than the harsh chemical sprays. Just my .02 🙂

  4. The mosquitos in Maplewood are horrendous. It is impossible to sit outside without wearing DEET which is worse to be applying to children than the possible effects of the spraying, which can be avoided by staying inside for the short period of time that it is in the air. I personally had West Nile in 2002, and was hospitalized for 5 days, got meningitis from the illness, and suffered from side effects for 3 months. West Nile is not a joke, and it is in our city.Some people have died or had severe neurological problems from it. Please don’t stop the spraying, Mr Greenberg, you may want to look at the statistics before trying to eliminate the spraying. I speak from experience, and I am one of the lucky ones.

    • I am sorry to hear that you developed West Nile Virus, but I am not convinced that spraying more neurotoxins into our air would have prevented that from happening. The effectiveness of Aqua-Reslin at reducing adult mosquito population is very low, especially compared with the use of larvacides and elimination of breeding environments. There are risks associated with mosquito fogging that need to be considered before establishing a treatment program. I remember when Agent Orange was touted as a safe and effective defoliant (by it’s manufacturer) and was shown to have horrendous side effects. I read one report that indicated that these chemicals make changes in the mosquitoes salivary glands and increase the transmission rate of the virus to humans. There are other reports that state that these chemicals create supermosquitoes that are becoming more immune to present control practices. There are also reports that indicate that mosquito fogging is harmless, but I would prefer not to subject people with compromised immune systems, elderly, children and pets to the proven side effects that these pesticides are known to cause.

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