Danville residents question use of mosquito spray

August 27, 2003|LIZ MAPLES

Danville will continue to spray for mosquitoes this year, but City Commissioners decided to look at alternatives next year after hearing protests from a local physician, a mother and a professor at Monday's meeting.

The state Department of Agriculture sprays, at no cost to the city, with a form of the chemical Dursban. The insecticide contains chlorpyrifos, which the Environmental Protection Agency has begun to phase out because they may cause cancer.

Roger Trent, Boyle County public health director, said he questioned whether spraying was beneficial compared to the risks of the insecticide.

He reported that last year two people in the Boyle County were infected with West Nile Virus, but this year there have been no cases, and that the total number of cases in the state had dropped significantly.


Mayor John W.D. Bowling said that the city needs to consult with the health department before it sprays to calculate risk of infection.

City Code Enforcement Officer Tom Broach said people call him to ask when they'll spray again.

"I need to know what to tell people, because they call me every day and say they are getting eaten up by mosquitoes," he said.

He said that people should control mosquitoes by eliminating standing water and keeping their grass mowed, but said he does not believe spraying could be harmful. He suggested that the insects had become such a problem that the city might need to consider buying its own spraying equipment.

Dr. Rick Hemple said, "I'm convinced it is a mistake to spray."

David Anderson, a professor at Centre College, and Sandy Rippetoe, a mother, said they want the city to educate residents about mosquito control and when it is necessary use a larvaecide, which would kill the insects while they were still developing in water.

Dursban kills adult mosquitoes.

Rippetoe also wanted the city to form a task force to study the issue.

The state has been assured by the manufacturer that the chemical is safe, Keith Hamilton, assistant director of the Department of Agriculture's division of environmental assistance, has said.

Central Kentucky News Articles