U.S. Air Force Is Spraying 6 Million Acres With Chemicals in Response to Harvey
If you live in the Houston area, you know that the aftermath from Hurricane Harvey is far from over. All you Florida residents are also dealing with many of our same issues in the wake of Hurricane Irma, as well.
Aside from all of the demolition and construction going on in our communities, we face other issues.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at all of the standing water left behind from Harvey and know that thick mosquito swarms are soon to follow. They didn’t take long, either. It was only a matter of days after Harvey moved from our area. The little devils started making their appearance.
I live in a fairly wooded area, I couldn’t even take my dog around the trails without both of us being covered (despite repellent). There was also a constant swarm hovering around my front door.
I found myself nagging in my own head – “When on earth are they going to spray and cut down on these swarms?”
It’s hard to believe that people were actually SO opposed to having the mosquitoes sprayed after Harvey. I mean, I understand why. But when it comes to the lesser of two evils, I’ll take the spray.
The spray has its own risks. That’s why it’s sprayed at night when people and pets are indoors or under cover. Am I in favor of finding a healthier alternative for ridding our areas of mosquitoes after a disaster like Harvey? Sure. But, right now, this is the best we’ve got.
What do mosquitoes bring?
West Nile is the obvious disease. Our area has reported cases every year, and with a much larger mosquito population, that risk goes up. Other diseases to think about are Zika and Encephalitis which can effect humans, horses, birds, and other animals.
Aside from those major diseases that mosquitoes can distribute, they are also known carriers of blood-borne viruses that they pick up from different hosts and parasites such as heart worms and botflies. One of the biggest arguments against the spraying of mosquitoes (that is not human health) is that if negatively impacts other wildlife. Which is true, but so does an inflated mosquito population. Botflies are disgusting and bring their own diseases, but the big issue here is heart worms.
Heart worms can exist in a variety of hosts. Because of that, they can create long-term impacts on wildlife because they can greatly impact the lifespan of an animal.
Heart worms can make hosts out of not only your family pets, but also a huge variety of wildlife including coyotes, foxes, bears, bobcats, raccoons, nutria, snakes, and sometimes even people. The more wildlife infected with heart worms, the easier it is for them to spread during mosquito season.
Weighing our options…
Cases like this bring a difficult decision. No matter which path is taken, there will be negative effects. I really do hate having to settle on “a lesser of two evils”. However, in this case, I think I’ll pass on the infectious disease and spike in parasites.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!