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Organic Gardening: Organic growing vs aerial mosquito spraying?

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Forum: Organic GardeningReplies: 6, Views: 64
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Green Cove Springs, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 20, 2012
8:07 AM

Post #9212323

Has anyone growing organic had to deal with aerial mosquito spraying? Does anyone know the impact on organic status?

I'm in a North Florida county that's just recieved mandatory FEMA spraying (no opt-out). I been looking but haven't yet found out what's in the sprays.
I grow organically; not yet certified but considering it for the future. I'm in an area where mosquito-borne disease is always a threat in heavy/extended periods of rain, so would appreciate thoughts/ideas on how others have dealt with this. Thanks!

ps - as you can see, the mosquitoes here are BIG. maybe I should farm them instead!

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Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 20, 2012
8:23 AM

Post #9212330

AmyMorie - I remember the days of having to call "Mosquito Control" to complain about being sprayed with bug killer when I lived in South Florida! I think what they used to spray was Malathion.

What are you being sprayed with? If it's a Bacillus thuringiensis meant to kill mosquitos, then you're okay - it's "organic."
Green Cove Springs, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 20, 2012
1:17 PM

Post #9212596

Thanks for the link HoneybeeNC! I found out they are spraying Dibrom here
Too bad they didn't just state the potential impacts on organic... doing more research later, but did find the MSDS on it
Sounds very like the Malathion. We used to get the sprays in WPB when I was a kid. Back then I just thought the planes were cool!
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 20, 2012
5:40 PM

Post #9212806

Unfortunately they probably don't think about the impact on organic growers when they implement spraying programs like that. The unfortunate thing is that if they've sprayed that stuff over your property then you're no longer organic through no fault of your own. If there are other people in your area who are also trying to grow organically, you might try to take up a petition or something to allow for opt-out based on organic growing practices (or convince them to switch to something like Bt that is organic). I did a bike ride a few weekends ago up in wine country, and saw signs on several of the vineyards that said something about no spraying because it was an organic vineyard--this was for the people who go around spraying along roads/highways for weed control--no aerial spraying around here as far as I know but maybe if you can get enough support you could get something implemented in your area that would allow people to maintain their organic growing practices.


Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 20, 2012
5:58 PM

Post #9212826

AmyMorie - I hope you kept your windows closed. I think they have a nerve spraying a known poison on fish, birds and wildlife - and of course, humans!
Green Cove Springs, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 23, 2012
12:33 PM

Post #9215847

Thanks folks, did stay in with the pets and kept the windows closed. In this case the no-spray isn't offered as an option - it's all about vector control and I have understanding for this issue. There usually are opt-outs for the local spraying, though you have to go to each agency individually to ask (the county, the power company, etc.). But this was done as a federal FEMA emergency response and with very little warning (and only if you were looking hard for it!). It's too bad there isn't a mechanism for at least alerting people who've already asked not to be sprayed in order to give them time to cover and protect at least (or is that as effective here as duck and cover?).

Appreciate the DG support on this!
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

July 25, 2012
8:36 PM

Post #9218906

Amy, I know with organic certification if one "accidentally" sprays a non organic chemical, it is forgiven, at least in TX. Maybe the same goes with things sprayed on us that are beyond control. To be certified my field only has to be 30 feet from any other farm that sprays chemicals. Kind of makes one wonder sometimes.

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