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TELL US: What Are Your Thoughts on WNV Mosquito Spraying?

Area communities are spraying in an attempt to fend off West Nile Virus. Do you agree with this decision?

As health officials battle in the United States, many Massachusetts communities are resorting to pesticide spraying.

Officials Wednesday announced the Board of Health

The issue of pesticide use is often a heated one, and we're wondering what your thoughts on the issue are as health officials make the decision to resort to spraying in an attempt to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus. 

Are you in favor of community mosquito spraying? 

Let us know what you think in the comments.

Remember to keep it clean. If you violate our terms of use (check it out here) your comment will be deleted and your account may be suspended. If you have the urge to use profanity, an asterisk "*" will not suffice. Please find another way to make your point so we can keep the forum a place where all are comfortable sharing and conversing about the city.

gene August 29, 2012 at 03:45 PM
They have every place else so I am sure they will here
J Quintana August 29, 2012 at 04:01 PM
The City is really dropping the ball on giving notice and I would rather Salem not spray. I believe it is overreaction to a media driven epidemic. But hey who needs to breath for a couple of days.
Lisa Dolloff August 29, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I'm absolutely disgusted. The last thing we need is a toxin sprayed over our homes, cars, gardens, streets, etc. And hey, Salem, thanks for letting us know. You did an awesome job of that. Oh, wait, no, that was the Salem Patch. How about some maps of the exact area? An exact time? If you're going to do something so harmful to people, pets, and wildlife, you could at least give some more details and make sure that every single person in Salem is notified. I feel really let down by this city.
Lisa Dolloff August 29, 2012 at 04:13 PM
(In case that wasn't clear, I'm angry at the City, not the Patch.)
J Quintana August 29, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Less than 1 percent of people who become infected with West Nile virus will develop severe illness. Most people who get infected do not develop any symptoms at all. What about giving some notice for those of us who do not agree with the decision of spraying. It would be nice to have time to make the appropriate accommodations to be elsewhere while this goes on. Is this the City or the same Genius who decided it was not ok to have a pet at an outside dining establishment?
Elizabeth Mizioch-Crawford August 29, 2012 at 05:14 PM
I disagree with the spraying and would have liked to been notified of the decision. The chemicals that are typically used (I don't know what Salem is using because I was not given any information!) can cause injury to the nervous system, cause eye, skin, nose and throat irritation and breathing problems. Those with chemical sensitivities or asthma may be more compromised. The chemical is toxic to honey bees, fish and aquatic life. All these negatives as a "precautionary measure"! Not feeling comfortable with the decision.
KlassySalem August 29, 2012 at 05:52 PM
EEE is in the area as well, and that has about a 33% mortality rate. The people who do develop severe illnesses from WNV are frequently those least capable of handling those illnesses. We probably owe it to them to suck it up. That said, I'm glad I'll be out of town.
christine August 29, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Why just Boston ST area?
Liz Rogers August 29, 2012 at 08:08 PM
It doesn't matter if you know what time or if you get out of town while they spray. The chemicals will still be there hours, days, months later: on our plants & lawn, in the groundwater, in the trees, affecting the ecosystems by taking out food sources (in addition to mosquitoes) for larger organisms. This just doesn't make any sense. Have we learned nothing about the effects of these "tested and safe" chemicals on humans? The long-term effects are far greater than the threat of EEE or West Nile Virus.
Midge Lyon August 29, 2012 at 08:15 PM
It makes me feel like crying. I feel powerless. Subject my family to these toxins after all my years of vigilance keeping them away. Cannot express how much frustration I feel for not being alerted. We get snow ban phone calls and parking phone calls and voting phone calls, why not here and now for this?
Megan Calchera August 29, 2012 at 08:40 PM
I am very unhappy about the decision to spray and the lack of info to residents.
Michael McNeil August 30, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Spray away. The very young and the very old are at risk. Just look at what the death toll has been in Texas. Wish spraying wasn't needed but it is.
Deb August 30, 2012 at 01:56 AM
This surely has all the earmarks of another half cocked decision by our (apparently) renegade board of health. And why just that area is a banner question. Everything I've seen and read indicates that the spray isn't harmful to humans. It's all been EPA certified, etc. (I'll leave that one alone!) That, however, doesn't give me the warm fuzzies, considering how the community was notified. First and foremost, *what* is the chemical being sprayed? If they at least ID'd that, people could look it up, check the toxicity, and hopefully be a bit less nervous about it. .The PAN database is a good place to look up these things. It's quite specific as to which organisms (mammals, fish, amphibians, bees, etc) are affected, too. (Damn. I'm just starting to see honeybees again...) Try not to get too nerved up! A lot of this stuff dissipates rapidly in the environment; and chances are extremely good that no one will see any ill effects. Still - Larry/BoH - you've got some 'splainin' to do.
john August 30, 2012 at 02:12 AM
The Board of Health changed their minds on dogs ouside at eating establishments but once those chemicals are sprayed they can't change their minds.They make me nervous.
Nathan Duclos August 30, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Every health board and mosquito "expert" that you speak to or hear from will tell you that the spraying is safe and that there has never been any type of problem associated with spraying. If that is the case why then is there a list of 15-20 things that we are all supposed to do in order not to get exposed to the spraying? Does the city truly believe that shutting my windows will prevent the toxins from entering my house? If there is no danger why must I immediately flush my eyes and seek emergency medical attention if it gets in my face? Why does the town have the right to sequester me in my home why they spray for something I had no say in? On that note why was there no public comment session on this topic (and if there was it was very poorly publicized). Lastly, what kind of sense does it make to spray one small section of town; does the board of health truly believe that mosquitoes do not travel either around Salem or in from other towns? All in all a very bad idea.
Liz Rogers August 30, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I sent an email to the mayor, and I will be calling her office this morning. Let's all do that. At the very least, it may delay the spraying so more people will learn about it.
Michael McNeil August 30, 2012 at 12:57 PM
The environmental extremists are fools. The wrongful ban on DDT costs millions of lives in Africa and across the world. A little bit of mosquito control in Salem could save lives.
Lisa Dolloff August 30, 2012 at 01:29 PM
It's hardly being an extremist to not want a toxic chemical, one that kills by design, to be sprayed all over our neighborhoods.
Michael McNeil August 30, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Would you prefer that Salem hand out little mosquito condoms and hope for the best?
gallows hill resident August 30, 2012 at 02:01 PM
besides the issue of the pesticides floating around for all living things to absorb, has it occurred to anyone that we will all be forced into suffocation on an 80 degree day with the windows shut and no air ventiliation for several hours? does the city want to take responsibility for the possible deaths of frail or elderly residents? isn't this the equivalent of leaving a child in a hot car with the windows rolled up?
Michael McNeil August 30, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I believe the spraying will happen between 8PM and Midnight. The night time temps will be in the 60's.
Liz Rogers August 30, 2012 at 02:11 PM
DDT has been scientifically proven to have dire consequences for humans and for other organisms, as well as soil and air. Of course, this was many years later, after the damage had been done. I think people can be educated about how to avoid mosquitoes and choose whether they spray themselves and loved ones with repellents. If I could choose, I would choose not to spray myself, my loved ones, my garden, or my air, but I am not being given a choice.
Liz Rogers August 30, 2012 at 02:12 PM
By the way, the most recent "victim" of West Nile Virus was a woman in Newton, who was kept overnight in the hospital and released the next day.
Michael McNeil August 30, 2012 at 02:18 PM
You are confusing science with a Joni Mitchell song. Banning DDT killed millions of people. Rachel Carson's book The Silent Spring was to blame. It was genocide.
J Quintana August 30, 2012 at 02:25 PM
"environmental extremists are fools" "The wrongful ban on DDT costs millions of lives in Africa" "Would you prefer that Salem hand out little mosquito condoms and hope for the best?" Well thought out arguments on your part. Thanks, you have convinced me that we need to eradicate these death wielding blood suckers from the planet by dumping chemicals where we live, work, eat and where our children play. I am sure there will be no ripple effect.... Maybe you should think before you type.
Michael McNeil August 30, 2012 at 02:30 PM
J Quintana... I found the first 3 lines in your reply brilliant. Just because we don't agree is no reason for you to get angry.
D August 30, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Keep your damn chemicals away from my house and neighborhood!!! I have a pond with turtles and fish in my backyard as well as an organic garden. What gives you the right to affect my habitats??? As a life long resident of Salem I am very disappointed and angry on how this news was delivered and the simple fact that the residents had no say what so ever!!!!! Maybe City Hall should be sprayed first with everyone inside and the windows up and AC off. Then they can let us know if its safe!!!! In a world were we are trying to free ourselves of all the chemicals around us and in our food,somehow you think dousing us with this crap is a good idea??? WAKE UP!!!!!!!!
J Quintana August 30, 2012 at 02:46 PM
What angers me is the lack of consideration from the city and BoH. The short notice and buck passing that is going on when you call them on it. Not your brilliant comments. However looking at your brilliant comments one may consider you to be angry. Some residents have a legitimate gripe and want to know more. That does not make them an extremist or a fool. Thanks for asking.
Lisa Dolloff August 30, 2012 at 03:34 PM
D, Anvil 10+10 is EXTREMELY toxic to aquatic life. Make sure you cover your pond as carefully as possible before the spraying tonight, and I hope everything in there ends up ok!
Bat Turner August 31, 2012 at 03:04 AM
great way to kill off mosquito, bats, bird, squirrels, raccoon's....good source of cancer....seriously, read the list of chemicals yah'll want to spray around the city.

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