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Vegetable Gardening: Spraying for mosquitos in Dallas

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hrp50
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 16, 2012
4:20 PM

Post #9243972

I was wondering what organic gardeners are doing if anything in Dallas to protect their gardens from the aerial mosquito spraying this evening. Are you trying to cover anything or provide some sort of protection? Even the Dallas Arboretum is concerned enough that they are covering all of their ponds to protect the fish, "just in case" according to a story on the news. A couple shown were covering all of their vegetable plants. I'm upset not just about the aerial spraying but also because I had tickets for the night Chihuly exhibit tonight and it has been cancelled and the park is closed due to the spraying.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2012
2:27 PM

Post #9244875

Oh no ...
I am so worry now.
I am not home and I cannot protect my veggie garden or pets.
I will be so upset if I will loose my pets to this mosquito spraying.
I don't agree with this kind of measures and I did sign the petition from Howard Garrett newsletter ... I guess it didn't work out !
Keep updates please

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 17, 2012
3:30 PM

Post #9244929

Ask the city what chemical cocktail they are spraying. That will help identify the threat(s) (if any) and mitigation strategies (if needed).

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2012
3:44 PM

Post #9244944

They are using DUET
hrp50
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2012
4:20 PM

Post #9244992

This news report gives me zero confidence that all of the negatives about Duet are even known and that the public is not being fully informed. I don't want any more deaths from West Nile but I believe that there are safer alternatives to aerial spraying.


"DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – West Niles poses a serious health risk, but now with aerial spraying, there is a new concern. What could soon rain down over Dallas County may flood doctors’ offices with questions.

Doctor Elizabeth Stevenson is an OB/GYN who says, “Unfortunately, right now, we don’t have a whole lot of information.”

Although Doctor Stevenson has delivered more than 4,000 babies, she, like the rest of us, is waiting to hear what the chemicals that kill mosquitoes could do to at risk patients like infants and pregnant women.

“We are going under the assumption that this will not be harmful to mother or unborn child,” says Doctor Stevenson.

CBS 11 has learned Dallas County will be using Clarke, an Illinois company to spray the pesticide called Duet. Duet contains sumithrin and pralletrin.

“If you ever take Raid and spray on a bug, they basically drop to the ground. That is what they are designed to do. They basically stop their ability to move,” explains Southern Methodist University Associate Professor Brian Zoltowski.

Zoltowski says these are chemicals that the pest control companies have being spraying on yards for years. He says the amounts that will be sprayed will kill mosquitoes, bees and fish. They do not have the protective enzymes to degrade the molecules that people and pets do.

“I weigh around 70 kilograms which means I would need to consume 400 grams for this to be harmful to me. In one acre of land, they are only going to spray 20 grams,” says Zoltowski.

CBS 11 did some digging and found warnings about the chemicals in New York, Massachusetts and Virginia. People with known sensitivities, like asthma and allergies, are encouraged to stay indoors to avoid eye, skin, nose or throat problems. But health officials in Texas say the chemicals are “safe and effective”. They do warn “people who are concerned” to take the following precautions:"

•Avoid being outside
•If the pesticide gets on your skin or clothes, wash them with soap and water
•Rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables
•Cover fish ponds

Swimming pools should not be a concern because the Texas Department of Health says the chemicals break down in sunlight and water.

Doctor Stevenson says she is still waiting for the public notice that typically warns physicians of any health concerns. For now, she says she will likely tell her pregnant patients to take extra precautions and stay inside during the aerial spraying.

CBS 11 also checked with the Environmental Protection Agency. Both the chemicals in Duet are registered. The EPA also warns that they are toxic to fish and bees. It reports the chemicals are only harmful to people and pets if swallowed.



This message was edited Aug 17, 2012 5:24 PM

This message was edited Aug 17, 2012 5:27 PM
Garden_Sass
Central, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 18, 2012
5:49 AM

Post #9245446

I'm listening to Howard Garrett on Bob Webster's radio gardening program on 550AM out of San Antonio. 2 teaspoons (or was it tablespoons?) of this chemical treat 1 acre! It has to be powerful stuff. The concern is what this will do to beneficial and pollinating insects, chemically sensitive people and aquatic life. The MSDS sheet which is linked on Howard's Dirt Doctor web site says not to spray it on ponds and waterways. Also discussed is the timing of the nighttime spraying and the normal (bell curve) disease cycle which is on the downside right now. Seems the public officials totally ignored the use of less harmful treatments for mosquito control such as Bt.

I wouldn't want to pick up West Nile being older and probably more at risk than younger folks, however doing greater damage by using the wrong "cure" just to "do something" isn't a wise approach.

I remember the trucks with fogging units that used to emit a cloud of DDT for mosquito control...us kids used to run through the "clouds" for fun - nobody stopped us, no one had any idea it was harmful to us.

15 years ago when my daughter's family lived in marshy coastal Georgia, officials decided to resume spraying for mosquitoes. Jennie had a beautiful garden in her front yard, roses, and all sorts of flowering plants covered by bees, bumblebees, all sorts of beneficial insects including dragonflies - then the trunk came through - we watched those wonderful insects literally fall from the sky. Next day, no insects...of any kind.

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 18, 2012
6:34 AM

Post #9245483

Sounds like nasty stuff. Since municipal spraying programs have never been shown to actually reduce mosquitoes, maybe they are trying to pull out all the stops. Particularly troublesome is that this stuff doesn't dilute in water. Maybe that'll keep even more from from running into the watershed, but it will persist in the soil, right? And what will that do to the soil ecology?

I would cover up all my plants and soil anywhere I garden. Get all the animals indoors, close up the windows and turn off the ventilation system until the spray had a chance to settle. If that's aerial... might be all night.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

August 18, 2012
10:08 AM

Post #9245626

From what I read, they are spraying Duet, a combination of two synthetic pyrethroids that break down quickly in sunlight. The spray is toxic to bees but the nighttime spraying should lessen the bee kill. It is also toxic to fish, don't know how they propose to protect them.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 19, 2012
4:30 PM

Post #9246929

hrp50,
could you tell me if they did spray in DFW, please?
If they did, have have you seen any bees or insects the day after?
I will be out of town untill the end of the month ... I will appreciate any news, especially good ones
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 19, 2012
4:45 PM

Post #9246935

They haven't started yet due to rain, but it's scheduled to start tonight.

The problem is that this stuff doesn't kill the larvae, it only kills the adults. Also, it kills the bees and other beneficials. I am so not for this!! I don't even want them doing ground spraying like they're talking about here in Fort Worth.
hrp50
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 20, 2012
8:27 AM

Post #9247540

drthor
I can only speak to the city where I live, Carrollton. They only sprayed here for the first time last night, Sunday, having postponed it Friday and Saturday nights due to rain. I sat on my patio observing my butterfly garden on Sunday and there were a lot of bees all day long. I just went outside and sat for a few minutes and didn't see a single bee. I will be monitoring it all day today and will report back tonight. All I know is at this time it doesn't look good, but hopefully it is just a coincidence that I don’t see any bees this morning and normaly they are very active at this time of day.


stephanietx
I agree with you 100%.

This message was edited Aug 20, 2012 9:29 AM

Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

August 20, 2012
8:42 AM

Post #9247556

Don't they know that no bees is harmful to human health? No bees. No food. Insane.
http://www.naturalnews.com/036877_aerial_spraying_West_Nile_virus_chemicals.html
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 20, 2012
10:54 AM

Post #9247737

They do know that the spray will kill the bees, but don't care because someone has it in their heads that this West Nile thing is an epidemic. There haven't been that many deaths and I don't even know if it's something that needs to be addressed by the city government at this time.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 20, 2012
11:54 AM

Post #9247833

oh no ... so so sad !
grits74571
Talihina, OK

August 20, 2012
12:08 PM

Post #9247850

Last time I heard there had been 17 deaths in the DFW area now no matter how you look at it 17 is an epidemic Now I do agree there must be better ways to go about this ,I just don't have an answer dem dar skeeters are bad here LOL I would let them spray me>>>

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 20, 2012
2:45 PM

Post #9248032

Humans are not very good at consequences. They'd spray and kill the bees to keep a few people from being sick even if they knew for a fact there would be mass starvation next year.

17 deaths statewide, grits, 10 in Dallas. Wonder how many died of regular colds and flu in that time? I'm guessing more.
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 20, 2012
4:11 PM

Post #9248104

How many of those had pre-existing conditions? Two more deaths today and they were both in their 80s.

Second spraying tonight in all of the Dallas county cities who've requested. Also suspect the DUET is also killing June bugs. Surprise, surprise!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 20, 2012
9:00 PM

Post #9248463

I don't think the actual fatalities is why they consider it to be epidemic proportions. The actual documented cases would be the reason.
On this first link, they are showing Texas as having 336 cases as of August 14. The majority are in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex area.
http://diseasemaps.usgs.gov/wnv_us_human.html
http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/arboviral/westnile/

As with most viruses, e coli, etc, the eldery or infirm will be the fatalities as their system cannot rebound from illness.

I am sorry y'all are going through this in the Dallas area and really wish there were a better solution. Hopefully, the city/county government, the garden clubs and neighbors are all trying to educate and assist in preventing mosquito habitat.

Although there are a few documented cases in this area, we have not had mosquito problems since early spring.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 21, 2012
4:59 AM

Post #9248609

Well, guess the rest of Texas will be donating mason bees and cats for our roundups to get DFW back up to buzzing, doesn't kill the larva? Only the adult stage?
grits74571
Talihina, OK

August 21, 2012
5:27 AM

Post #9248634

17 is not all that many if compared to the number of Murders ,so maybe they could spray certain neighborhoods with something to prevent the murders..just saying ,,,Take away the murders here in Lefore county and we have very low crime rates ...If everyone would clean up any standing water source just in their yards that would help an awful lot..I no longer go out in a short sleeved shirt to work in the yard and clean the Birdbaths every day ...Still I know I could do more

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 21, 2012
5:50 AM

Post #9248658

IDEA :
Since they are spraying for mosquito and they will be killing los of beneficial insects ... can anybody ask them to spray something to kill the Squash Vine Borer too?
... just kidding ... but wouldn't it be nice?
hrp50
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 22, 2012
2:02 PM

Post #9250272


Kittriana, you are correct about the aerial spraying not killing mosquito larvae and therein lies part of the problem.

I can give only anecdotal evidence that the aerial spraying in Carrollton, TX has reduced the number of active bees in my butterfly garden. We in Carrollton have had two nights of spraying, Sunday and Monday. I observed the bee activity last Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and today. The number of active bees seems to have dwindled down by about one-third to one-half of what it was prior to the start of aerial spraying. I only observed 3 butterflies yesterday and only one today. Of course this is by no means a scientific observation and might be biased based on the fact I was vehentmently against aerial spraying.

You are lucky drthor that the city of Irving has opted out of aerial spraying and will attack the problem by ground/surface level treatment, stagnant water treatment, and trapping in areas with a high concentration of mosquitoes. And it should be noted that Irving has just had it’s first confirmed case of West Nile virus and no deaths.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 22, 2012
2:17 PM

Post #9250296

What a great news hrp50 !
I just received an email from the city about teh West Nile Virus:
http://www.cityofirving.org/parks-and-recreation/west-nile-update.asp

I am actually really happy living in Irving. It seems the city is always doing a great job informing their residents and trying their best to keep it "green".
Now I will keep my finger crosses that the spray will stop everywhere ...

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 22, 2012
9:05 PM

Post #9250773

Better to hope for a freeze that will stop em- or cooler weather, though then the gardens will be suffering, definitely caught tween a rock and a hard place on that virus!

Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

August 26, 2012
6:02 PM

Post #9254735

City governments are often swayed by active and vocal citizens who show up at city council meetings en mass. The wheels turn faster if more people push.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 26, 2012
6:49 PM

Post #9254791

Hmmm, always been my experience they sway to realtors haunting their doors every time they open crying 'do something! This costs us all MONEY!' sigh, guess I am tired, my optimism feels a bit sarcastic. Sprays should be done- hope you guys are ok.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 27, 2012
3:06 PM

Post #9255983

We just arrive home from our house in FL.
We decided to come home one day earlier to run ahead of Isaac ... which it did followed us trough every state we drove ... but we were ahead, so no problem.
The pets left outside are alive. I am so relieved. Still ... I am NOT happy about this spraying !
hrp50
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 27, 2012
8:27 PM

Post #9256453

drthor
I'm glad that you made it home ahead of the storm.

I have been away for the past four days getting my daughter off to college so I haven't been able to monitor the bee and butterfly situation in my garden. Tomorrow should be interesting to find out if there are more bees and butterflies than the last time I was out there.

Uh-oh, they just said on the news that Irving is going to opt in for aerial spraying later this week and that a man and wife in Irving had both contracted West Nile and the wife died. Again, I don't want anyone to contract or die from West Nile but I believe that it is idiocy for Irving to start aerial spraying now. Their thinking must be "Just do the easy thing and the impact on everything else!"

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 28, 2012
6:15 AM

Post #9256651

oh no...
I will be out all day today and tomorrow !
My garden did grow so much ! It must have rained a lot while I was going !
I will also watch the bees and report back !

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 28, 2012
10:40 AM

Post #9257035

When Isaac blows in- there's apt to be West Nile a long way north, darn skeeters.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 28, 2012
5:59 PM

Post #9257623

I was outside all day.
The bumble bees love the long beans flowers. Before I left I had 100s of them flying around. Today I saw just a couple.
Also a few bees and wasps too.
One butterflies and too many grass hoppers !

So sad !

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 29, 2012
2:57 AM

Post #9257887

Shame it doesn't kill hoppers! It is sad, but there is no such thing as a bug vacuum so they will return!

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 2, 2012
7:59 AM

Post #9262276

where are the BEES and the BUMBLE BEES?
At the beginning of August i comment to my husband that I never seen so many bumble bees ever in my garden ... now after being gone for 2 weeks and the mosquito spray/treatment ... I hardly see any bee or bumble bee !
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 2, 2012
8:02 AM

Post #9262285

The pesticide they spray for the mosquitoes kills the bees and other beneficials, too. :(
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

September 2, 2012
8:35 AM

Post #9262332

They are spraying the Valley tonight. One possible case of WNV in the county west of us so they are going to spray. Thankfully we have very few crops growing right now as it is our "off" season. The two greenhouses will protect the peppers, eggplant and other fruiting crops. We will turn the overhead irrigation on after they spray to wash off any residue from the remaining crops.
Our bee population is already down from a large clearing they did down the road for a horse pasture. They wiped out several wild bee hives.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 2, 2012
8:52 AM

Post #9262347

Why doesn't it kill hoppers? I feel cheated - it's leaving some of the worst critters behind!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

September 2, 2012
11:15 PM

Post #9262970

Pretty sure they'll be spraying in Louisiana next because of all the standing flood water...

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 3, 2012
8:14 AM

Post #9263234

I heard on the news they've been spraying here all summer, but I haven't seen any reduction in bees (or mosquitoes). I did hear the spray truck the other night.

They also said the spray reaches 150' feet back; my garden edge is 110' back from the road.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 3, 2012
6:30 PM

Post #9263901

Are they using Duet in Alabama?

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 4, 2012
5:35 AM

Post #9264293

I haven't been able to find out. Last year they used permethrin. This year they were asking all beekeepers to contact the office so they could ensure they only sprayed those areas at night -- they have only ever sprayed my street at night, but I am pretty sure I have a beekeeper nearby.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 4, 2012
5:55 AM

Post #9264313

So whatever they are using affects bees, you should find a beekeeper and see if he knows what is being used! Way to go Alabama! Nightspraying!

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 4, 2012
8:08 AM

Post #9264462

Permethrin kills bees, too. (And can kill cats.) They may still be using that. I know they are also releasing mosquito fish.

I see a ton of honeybees in the spring when my clover is in full bloom, but they always disappear in the summer. So not having them around now doesn't worry me. The bumblebees, carpenter bees and the native bees are still out in full force, but they also mostly live back in the woods where the spraying doesn't reach.
hrp50
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 4, 2012
2:37 PM

Post #9264838

I've seen exactly zero butterflies this past week and weekend and about one-half the number of bees (plus wasps, bumble bees, dragon flies, etc) as prior to the aerial spraying of Duet. I don't understand why Duet would kill butterflies but not so much bees unless the bees were inside their hive protected from the spray. I still see a lot of mosquitoes in and around the garden about dusk but I'm lucky that they don't bite me. My wife is a different story and has a number of mosquito bites so we are closely watching to see if she develops any symptoms of the virus.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 4, 2012
2:46 PM

Post #9264844

I am a person the skeeters find no matter what, and I will use all available methods to repulse them! Dryer sheets, Skin So Soft, mouthwash like crest, deep woods off, my best defense is cover up, and use those methods, stay in a breeze and full sun. I am not at home as usual- and Cleveland, Ohio isn't worried yet abt West Nile. You guys be careful.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

September 6, 2012
6:02 AM

Post #9266762

We still have butterflies and bees (and mosquitoes). I don't know if they sprayed our area by plane, but the spray truck came thru night before last. Before the spraying we had a lot more dragonflies (which eat mosquitoes).
One section of our farm is 50' from the road, the main section is about 200' from the road. We have overhead water available to the entire farm, so we turned it on to wash off the crops.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 7, 2012
9:07 AM

Post #9267939

Guess what?
I was reading the Italian newspaper "Il Mattino" from the city were I grew up in Italy, and the main article today was:

"West Nile virus, the increase in cases Veneto blame the heat"

Veneto = region of Northern Italy, including teh cities of Padua and Venice.

Here is the article if you can read Italian:
http://mattinopadova.gelocal.it/cronaca/2012/09/07/news/virus-del-west-nile-aumentano-i-casi-in-veneto-colpa-del-caldo-1.5656256

Or here is in English:

The hot summer helped the spread of the virus, transmitted mainly by mosquitoes.
In Veneto registered 13 cases of infection: study of the University of Padova

PADUA. The cases of infection with West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne disease this summer has caused great alarm in the United States, are also increasing in Italy, especially in the Veneto. It reports a study published in the journal of the University of Padova. The article reports thirteen cases of infection, five of which nervous system involvement and three with fever, all diagnosed between July and August this year. The symptoms experienced by patients ranged from fatigue, headache, high fever, muscle and joint pain, gastrointestinal disorders, to meningitis and encephalitis.

"Just in the last hour - update Giorgio Palu, lead author of the study - we found two new cases of fever, and ten other cases are under investigation for confirmation." To increase the incidence of the disease was the hot summer, the expert noted, which increased the number of Culex mosquitoes, the main vectors of the virus that hit the U.S. more than a thousand people especially in Texas, forcing authorities to campaigns extraordinary pest control: "All patients have a virus of the same strain of the virus - says Palù - endemic in Veneto and identified for the first time in a patient residing near the river Livenza last year."

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 7, 2012
9:25 AM

Post #9267963

In my garden I am starting to see more bees and bumble bees. But just a few.
Normally when my Sweet Autumn Clematis blooms, I have one bee for every flower.
Look now!
No bees at all ... so sad !

Thumbnail by drthor   Thumbnail by drthor         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

hrp50
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 7, 2012
12:42 PM

Post #9268141

When people notice and become concerned about the higher cost of vegetables in grocery stores due to shortages, I hope that they will think about how the shortage is caused in part by the lack of bees to pollinate the vegetables and the lack of bees is due to the aerial spraying for mosquitoes. The official results of the effects of the spraying won't be available for a year!


Did Veneto decide to do aerial spraying for mosqiutoes? I'd guess no!

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 7, 2012
3:09 PM

Post #9268292

I know the results already: no bees but still mosquito (I got bitten this morning)

I don't know about Italy ... I will be there for one month soon ...

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