Friday, August 12, 2005

Spraying for mosquitos the traditional way

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The mosquitos will not win this round in California and West Nile Fever will likely disappear, at least until next summer, when the descendants of the ones not killed this year rise up out of swamps with a fierce resistance to whatever poisons are being sprayed.

But the spraying that has been going on in Sacramento County has awakened a long-dormant environmental conscience in the community, a conscience with lots of memories of the DDT mess and what happens whenever you fool with Mother Nature.

The insectide being sprayed kills a lot more than mosquitos, of course, and while I'm content to see a few of the spiders that live in my backyard go to that big silky web in the sky, I wonder what will happen when the fly population (also as risk from the raining poison) makes its spectacular comeback and the spiders (who have a much slower rate of reproduction) are still just getting around to mating.

Well, I suppose that will bring out the legions of private pesticide control people to spray for flies, which will kill more spiders, too, which will... well, you get it. Capitalism! It works...

In California, planes are zooming overhead at night and people are huddling inside their homes, windows closed, air conditioners turned off to avoid an insectide that the mosquito control people say poses no danger to humans. But, they say, as a precaution you should huddle inside, keeps windows closed and don't run airconditioners.

In North Carolina, where the photo with today's blog comes from, a small-town mayor drives her tractor up and down the streets with a donated spray rig to get rid of those pesky skeeters.

No hiding inside for her.



  1. The good ol boys at work again. Can you say Natural Selection? Guys I know in Hawaii grew up with DDT sprayings and talk of running behind the sprayer. Not all highs are good highs, we learned that in the 60's. Well some learned. What happened to fly swatters and screen doors? Doesn't anyone remember Rachel Carlson?

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