Air Pollution problems worsen every time pesticide spraying is employed. As we can see with the attempts to combat Zika, massive amounts of pesticides are being doused all over the southern states. Who knows how many mosquitoes may actually be killed with such methods, but we do know that bees and butterflies and other species not targeted are being decimated.
The pesticide currently of choice is Naled, an organophosphate and cholinesterase inhibitor that is supposed to be harmless to people and animals. As if that could be true! These pesticides are neurotoxins in and of themselves, so while we may be trying to defeat a mosquito carrying a virus that causes neurological damage, should we really be blanketing homes, waterways and backyards with a neurological poison?
While we may not see effects from this pesticide immediately upon larger creatures like ourselves, that does not necessarily mean it won’t effect us eventually. Such is the case with so many pesticides, many of which are considered persistent organic pollutants (POPs). POPs are so sinister that they remain and persist in the environment and in our bodies accumulating over time. Whether Naled will one day be classified as a POP is uncertain, but nonetheless precaution must always be considered with pesticide application. This is why other countries implement the Precautionary Principle when deciding to use or not to use harmful chemicals. It’s time the United States catch up. And to do that we have to get rid of the lobbyists and the chemical cronies that have infiltrated our government.
Interestingly, the culprit mosquito apparently likes to live indoors rather than outside so much of this outdoor spraying may be futile indeed. As if we need to add to the already troublesome level of outdoor air pollution! Instead a more effective course of action at home includes:
- Keep windows and doors closed,
- Check that screens are in tact, and
- Make your own air mist to combat mosquitoes indoors: crush a few garlic cloves and boil in water for 20 minutes, pour water and cloves into mist bottle, add peppermint oil, clove oil and spray away.
- Mosquitoes like dark places like under the bathroom sink, behind the toilet, in the laundry room or even in the drain, make sure these areas are dry
- Pour a little white vinegar down the drains to deter and kill mosquito larvae
- Use BTI dunks to kill larvae in ponds and bioswales or rain barrels See video
- Empty buckets and other unneeded containers of water in your yard
- Do what you can to protect your health and the environment: prevent your community from overdoing it with aerial spraying
- In Rachel Carson’s time they combated mosquitoes in Florida more effectively with x-rays and sterilization that caused no harm at all to other species
- Naled Insecticide Fact Sheet