We just moved from Indiana to South Central Colorado due to environmental illnesses. We ended up in a beautiful little town of Walsenburg which is snuggled in at the foot of the Rockies between the Spanish Peaks, (Wahatolla or Huahatolla), and really love it.
Our problem in the Midwest was allergies to mold, pollen, and chemicals all of which irritate us more than the average individual and in fact some make us seriously ill.
Part of the reason for our choice of area to live in is the dryness which reduces the mold levels, the lack of agricultural farming, thus not having all the insecticides, herbicides, etc. being sprayed all around the county, and the annual temperature and rainfall averages.
Less than one month after moving into our little home in Walsenburg Colorado they began spraying twice a week for mosquitos at 2:00 A.M. in the morning.
Now I know most cities in mosquito country spray for mosquitos, especially after the West Nile virus scare but living here I have to say, where are the mosquitos?
I think we saw 3 mosquitos in an entire week before they began spraying. It is dry here, and Walsenburg Colorado doesn’t have a clue what a mosquito problem is, but that’s OK, my real beef isn’t that they are spraying, it is what they are spraying.
The way we found out they were spraying was, one morning we woke up and my wife’s eyes were practically glued together with eye buggers, her nose and lungs were congested and she is having sharp pains in her stomach and her skin itches.
She called the County Clerk’s office and asked if they sprayed something overnight, and they said yes, they were spraying for mosquitos because of West Nile Virus.
She asked what chemical they were using and the response was Kontrol 4-4, so she asked if he had a copy of the MSDS sheet which he did and would gladly give her a copy of it.
Now we have nothing against the County Clerk, he is a real friendly guy, we have spoken to him on more than one occasion and it is easy to get into an extended conversation with him, but when she told him how sick it was making her he said, “You would rather go through this than to get bit by these mosquitos”.
I know this man has never suffered from Environmental illness or he would not have made this statement. OK, we lived in Indiana in the county where they don’t spray for mosquitos, and getting bit by mosquitos was an everyday ordeal.
Even though we lived in and area where West Nile Virus was a risk, but we never got it, in fact the instances of West Nile Virus there were few and far between.
According to the CDC, there were no cases of West Nile Virus in Huerfano County, Colorado last year. The worst year on record was 2003 with 10 reported cases of West Nile Virus and no deaths, (CDC).
In the Midwest, they looked for dead black birds on the ground, and tested them for West Nile before they determined if it was a threat, and most years they never found a case of it and didn’t bother spraying because West Nile was not present, but this is not the case here.
Three miles from Walsenburg is Lathrop State park which has lakes and water holes, and they spray there also because of the mosquito breeding ground.
Last week we went to Lathrop and hiked the Hogback Ridge trail and all along the way we found dead Cicadas and we also got bit by mosquitos.
This concerns me also because of the lakes which are open for fishing. What are they really targeting and are they killing the pest or will the spray have other possibly more negative environmental impacts?
We examined the MSDS sheet for this product they are spraying and the list of effects on humans and domestic animals. Those poor dogs and cats that are in the back yards. Some of what the MSDS sheet says verbatim are:
1) Extremely toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates
2) Do not apply when weather conditions favor drift from treated areas.
3) Do not allow spray treatment to drift onto pasture land, cropland, poultry ranges, or water supplies.
4) To the first and last on this list, again I have to say this concerns me because of the fishing in the lakes at Lathrop State park.
Granted we are more sensitive than most people to this type of stuff because of our previous exposure and sensitization to toxic molds, but just because someone else may not be reacting to this, does it mean that it is not affecting them?
How many chemicals and toxic substances can we pump ourselves full of before we are affected, or are we being affected but may not know the damage until 20 years later?
Remember the wonder insulation that would save lives because it was fire proof, and today many people are suffering from Mesothelioma, a cancer caused by Asbestos.
The latest issues in this country, one that is just now rearing its ugly head is Sick Building Syndrome or SBS as a result of building our houses with paper lined sheet rock.
Thirty years after it became a widespread practice, now houses that have suffered humid environments, roof leaks, plumbing leaks, etc. are now becoming a nursery for toxic molds like Stachybotris, Aspergillus and other molds that produce Biotoxins.
Why are so many forms of cancer becoming more prevalent, when just before the 1900’s it was basically unheard of? Could it be because we continually come up with new man made toxic chemicals and put them to use without knowing the long term effect on the human organism? If it kills any life form, can it be totally harmless to humans?
There are a host of other pesticides that can control or repel unwanted pests like mosquitos and gnats and there are some on the market that are natural.
Kontrol 4-4 requires a petroleum based oil for dispersal, and fogging with this stuff means the population is breathing this stuff in. If it is so safe to use, why are the warnings against allowing it to drift into cattle, croplands, and water supplies?
It amazes me how we have become such wimps that we literally have to toxify ourselves for comfort. You want to control mosquitos?
Get an all natural hand cream that uses essential oils of Lemon Eucalyptus and the mosquitos won’t want you. There are lots of things on the market, many of which are all natural that serve as repellents as well as insecticides, that don’t have to poison the population.
The bottom line is, no one got West Nile Virus in this county last year and as a result we are potentially poisoning 8000 residential individuals, not to mention tourists to prevent a problem that no tests have been done in order to determine if the problem even exists?
I’m not belittling the concerns of West Nile Virus, but I’m sure there are alternative methods of control, some of which I’m sure are less expensive, without having to toxify ourselves more than we already do.
Of course the best methods and the safest methods probably don’t have enough lobby power to be heard, but I find it hard to believe that in this century with all our technology our best solution to a problem has to be to create yet another toxic and environmentally hazardous solution.