We want the city to stop the ineffective and dangerous mosquito spraying and instead, channel equivalent funds and efforts to implement safer and proven practices for mosquito prevention and eradication. The city of Dallas sprays the poison Permethrin, a deadly poison to MANY insects. That includes beneficial insects such as honeybees and ladybugs as well as natural mosquito predators such as dragonflies. Many beekeepers around Dallas have reported their bees have been killed. In addition, fish, some of which eat mosquito larvae, are killed by this poison. There is also other wildlife to consider such as bats, birds, and geckos, which all prey on mosquitoes but are harmed by the spraying.
The city of Fort Worth has not sprayed for mosquitoes in over twenty years. While Brian Boerner was Fort Worth’s director of Environmental Management he stated, "While spraying for mosquitoes may provide a short-term response to the nuisance biting of the adults, it does nothing to affect the larva present in standing water sources. Moreover, the spraying of chemicals also has the potential of contaminating our waterways, killing the beneficial fish and organisms that feed on mosquito larva, adding harmful volatile organic chemicals to the atmosphere — a precursor chemical to ozone formation — and providing a potential inhalation or ingestion hazard to residents who are in affected areas shortly after spraying occurs.”
Scott Hanlon, assistant director of Code Compliance, told the Fort Worth city council, “Nobody puts a spraying program in place as the solution for West Nile virus. Nor is it effective in killing 100 percent of mosquitoes in any given area. Spraying only kills adult mosquitoes that are active during the time that chemicals are being dispersed. They don't impact larva.”
We want the city of Dallas to stop this practice of indiscriminate, costly, and ineffective poison spraying. This appears to be nothing more than a move to placate the public. It is not actually helping the mosquito problem nor cutting down on instances of West Nile virus. Dallas needs to:
-Educate the public about standing water (even minuscule amounts) and issue citations when needed
-Encourage the use of BT granules and dunks
-Introduce mosquito larvae-eating fish in appropriate bodies of water
-Push for individual responsibility — avoiding the outdoors at dusk and dawn, covering skin, using personal mosquito repellent
Dallas does do some of the above, but not to the extent it could and should. If all of the effort and money that went toward the poison spraying were instead diverted to the above, we would be in much better shape and would actually be addressing the problem.