Collateral Damage from Spraying to Kill Mosquitos: Is It Worth It?

Last week there was a very timely letter to the editor in the Washington Post concerning the business profile of the owner of a Mosquito Squad franchise. Mosquito Squad which sprays yards against mosquitos and other insects and the franchise owner is on target to make a handsome profit this year at the expense of these pesky little critters.

I can certainly appreciate the desire to squelch them … I am just as annoyed and irritated by them as the next guy. But, as I wrote in my Green and Simple column, “Create a Wildlife Habitat in Your Own Backyard,” a couple of weeks back, these spray don’t just kill mosquitos, they disrupt the entire food chain in your backyard eco-system by destroying many other bugs along the way. Since the bugs that are killed are food for larger bugs, birds, bats, and other animals, the eaters loose a food source.

By killing off mosquitos, those who take such harsh action to spare themselves from mosquitos, are, often unknowingly, driving off local wildlife who are either directly affected by the chemicals, or indirectly, through loss of food sources.

So what to do about the mosquitos? It’s the same advice you hear over and over again. Cover up, especially at peak times of day when they are feasting. Wear long sleeve shirts and pants, and socks, a hat, etc. Remove all standing water after each rain fall from rain gutters, the saucers under your planters, and anywhere else water may collect.

Read the letter to the editor and the comments to learn more about this hot issue and for more ideas on alternatives to spraying.

~ Carolyn

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