Every day, more and more articles are reporting massive mosquito spraying campaigns in cities or rural areas. These come alongside the reports of the Zika virus appearing in different states. It seems like people either support these treatments or protest against them. That’s why we figured that it was time for Insect Cop to weigh in on this matter.
The Need for Mosquito Control
The reason why city, county, and state governments decide that spraying is the best way to combat mosquitoes is that these mosquitoes are spreading diseases in those areas. Since these diseases, including Zika and the West Nile virus, can be very dangerous, it’s very important to be proactive. We have to control the mosquito populations and stop them from breeding so that no more people contract these mosquito-borne diseases.
The Advantages of Spraying for Mosquitoes
Mosquito spraying can be performed using handheld devices. There is also the larger-scale option of using planes or helicopters to perform aerial spraying over a large area.
Insecticides are the most effective way to combat mosquitoes. The reason for spraying insecticide is that this is the fastest and most thorough method to treat any area. Spraying allows the insecticide to cover the treatment area by settling on all surfaces and doing its job: kill mosquitoes.
On top of that, the sprayed insecticide will remain on those surfaces for longer. This helps ensure that the sprayings will need to be done less frequently.
The Disadvantages of Spraying for Mosquitoes
One possible downside to mosquito spraying, especially if done by an aircraft or over a large territory, is that it will affect everything in its path. The insecticide won’t spare things like bees or other beneficial insects.
On top of that, this method of insecticide distribution treats everything in its path. This includes plants, vegetables, houses, and more, giving them all a toxic layer of insecticide that can cause problems for sensitive people.
So, is mosquito spraying good or bad? It’s hard to come to a definite conclusion because there are upsides and downsides.
Even though spraying the insecticide isn’t the most efficient way to control the mosquito population, it’s still something we need to do. If we want to stop the spread of common mosquito-borne diseases, especially the spread of Zika, we need to stop the mosquitoes that carry them.
However, aerial mosquito sprayings might not be the best method for governments to use. This is particularly true in light of the deaths of millions of honeybees in some US states. A change in the mosquito spraying policy is needed. Aerial mosquito spraying should be only allowed in unoccupied areas and ground mosquito spraying in populated areas.
On top of that, governments should make sure that their decisions regarding mosquito spraying are transparent. Not only that, but they should also really work on informing their citizens about the importance and benefits of the sprayings. After receiving the proper information about spraying, the citizens will be able to refuse the spraying if they can provide some other adequate method of mosquito control on their propriety.