There has been a lively recent discussion about mosquito control on the Front Porch Forum for Salisbury, Leicester, Ripton, and Goshen. A common observation made by local residents is that mosquitoes were once a terrible problem in the BLSG district, but since the BLSG-administered roadside spraying began years ago, the mosquitoes are not nearly as bad. The implication is that roadside spraying of chemical pesticides has been responsible for a long-term easing of the mosquito problem.
Evidence from this spring does not support that argument. The last time BLSG did roadside spraying anywhere in the district was June 8 which was 11 days ago when five routes were sprayed. Nineteen days ago, another five routes were sprayed, and 21 days ago seven different routes were sprayed. So as of today, all of the routes in the district have gone for at least 11 to 21 days without being sprayed.
Continue reading “Cause and effect”
The BLSG Insect Control District operates two different mosquito control programs. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture funds a program to apply bacterial larvicide granules from the air to kill mosquito larvae in standing water. The five towns in the BLSG district fund a program to apply chemical pesticides along roads to kill adult mosquitoes.
The differences between the two methods of controlling mosquitoes are dramatic. Discussions about the effectiveness or safety of BLSG operations should specify which program is being discussed. The table below highlights some of the differences (click for better view).
Continue reading “Larvae or Adults”
There has been a lot of scary information about mosquito-borne diseases repeated by employees and board members of BLSG. There are two serious diseases carried by mosquitoes in Vermont, and one killed two people in 2012. That fact alone deserves our attention, but how much should we be concerned about these diseases?
Continue reading “Rare and rarer”
One month ago, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) approved an application by the BLSG Insect Control District to continue controlling mosquitoes for another five years. Yesterday, that decision was appealed by Toxics Action Center, an environmental advocacy group working throughout New England. The lawsuit alleges that the Vermont DEC allows BLSG to spray pesticides without following state requirements designed to protect public health and the environment. Toxics Action Center initiated this legal action on behalf of its members in the region. “It’s irresponsible to allow toxic pesticides to be sprayed near homes, rivers, and farms while safer options are available,” said Woody Little, Vermont Community Organizer at Toxics Action Center. “Before we endanger the health of the community, we should be trying every non-harmful alternative possible. It’s the law, and it’s just common sense.”
Continue reading “Toxics Action Center appeals the BLSG’s permit approval”