Home News Local news HEALTH NOW HAND-SPRAYING TO KILL MOSQUITOES

HEALTH NOW HAND-SPRAYING TO KILL MOSQUITOES

0

Government mosquito fogging from trucks has been discontinued for now because of new environmental concerns, and a "hand spraying" technique new to the territory is going to be used instead — and citizens are being encouraged to call the Health Department to report mosquito-infested areas so the sprayers can be dispatched.
Because recent rains have made the mosquito problem especially acute, "we need the public's support in this endeavor," Health spokesman Lee Vanterpool said Monday.
The numbers to call are 774-6880 for St. Thomas and St. John and 773-1311, ext. 307, for St. Croix.
Questions regarding insecticide fogging came under scrutiny last week at a meeting attended by Health Commissioner Wilbur Callender, Delegate Donna Christian-Christiansen and health officials from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"There are a lot of unanswered questions regarding the effectiveness of spraying" from trucks, Callender said, including the effects on the environment.
One concern raised by researchers at the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service, he said, is the fact that such insecticide spraying also kills the wasp bred to reduce the mealybug infestations in the territory.
As a follow-up to the meeting with the CDC officials, Callender said, he plans to talk with Environmental Protection Agency personnel. He said federal health officials are now recommending that larvacidal agents be applied directly to mosquito breeding grounds for more effective eradication.
Callender said that the Health Department has had problems maintaining regular fogging on St. Thomas and St. John because of financial constraints and that a problem with the fogger truck on St. Croix has prevented spraying there for some time.
Ethlyn Joseph, director of the department's Environmental Health Division, said other options in mosquito abatement include the use of Abate granules and Bactimos briquets which can be placed directly in stagnant, mosquito-breeding water.
Eventually, she said, these products will be available to the public for pick-up. None are available currently, she said, but supplies are expected to arrive soon.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here