Return to Home Page

Mosquito Abatement and Vector Control 
including West Nile Virus

That's quite some mosquitofish delivery system you have - pizza guys could learn from you

Alameda County mail-in ballots due April 30, 2008 - Read this now

Mosquito Abatement Tax Attempt, Spring 2008

from EBPA's presentation to Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District

Includes a brief look at the historical ineffectiveness of pesticides (or how the use of DDT against malaria-carrying mosquitoes led to a parachute drop of 145,000 live cats over Borneo). Examines statistics as to how many died due to West Nile Virus (WNV) in New York in 1999 versus died from 'flu. Recounts symptoms of pesticide poisoning and how they can be similar to the worst, rare cases of WNV. Discusses how dead crows were dealt with by Los Angeles County government. What's wrong with DEET and what are the safer alternatives for personal protection.

EBPA statement 8/30/2005

The Latest Poison Campaign - California

AUGUST 9 2005 - CONTRA COSTA COUNTY. Trucks spray resmethrin, a pyrethroid, on Brentwood and Discovery Bay neighborhoods. Contra Costa Times article by Kiley Russell

AUGUST 8 2005 - SACRAMENTO COUNTY. Aerial spraying of pyrethrins over most urban homes in Sacramento county North of the American River, 71,000 acres. Sacramento Bee story by Chris Bowman and Edie Lau (caution: may require registration)


A Manufactured Crisis

from West Nile Virus - A Manufactured Crisis - Lynn Landes 9/2/2002

What to do about West Nile? Don't do anything. It has the smell of a manufactured crisis. The news on West Nile is a disturbing combination of hype, confusion, distortion, and omission. Take a look at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for, "West Nile Virus Update - Current Case Count," and you'll see a startling variation in the incidence of West Nile infections and fatalities from state to state - and even within the same region. It makes me wonder.

On a daily basis TV reporters raise the alarm and breathlessly announce new cases of West Nile, but it's hard to tell if they're talking about fatalities or infections. 

We're told that both children and the elderly are most at risk, when in fact children are the least at risk for the disease, according to the CDC, but most at risk for the toxic effects of pesticides and mosquito repellents. 

Both the CDC and state public health agencies give out general information about the number of victims, but not specific data on individual victims that may shed light on the medical reality of this so-called crisis. 

The virus is characterized as new and dangerous, when it's not significantly different from viruses that have been in the United States for decades. 

West Nile may be a nasty experience for a very few, fatal for an exceedingly rare number, but as diseases's no big deal. There are about 40 different types of mosquitoes that carry viruses that could cause encephalitis. They're common in many parts of the U.S. and breed in places like tire dumps.

So what's unique about West Nile? Not much, according to Dr. Raoult Ratard of the Louisiana Department of Health. He says that, as it affects humans, West Nile is almost indistinguishable from the St. Louis virus, which has been in the U.S. since 1933. Dr. Ratard says that there's no difference between the two viruses regarding their symptoms or rates of infection. Less than 1% of persons infected with the West Nile or St. Louis virus will develop severe illness. On average, St. Louis causes 128 people to be hospitalized every year, although in 1964 that figure went as high as 4,478 cases. In fact, the mortality rate for the St. Louis virus is said to be slightly higher than that for West Nile. 

The St. Louis virus is considered a "permanent resident" of Florida, according to the University of Florida's Cooperative Extension Service. On their website the Extension Service even questions the effectiveness of spraying pesticides, noting that by the time an outbreak has occurred it's already too late. And I doubt anyone sprays pesticides for West Nile in Europe, Africa, Western Asia, or the Middle East where it's common.

Another article by Lynn Landes - Blowing the Whistle on West Nile - Shades of 1950's and DDT (8/12/2002) Includes what's wrong with DEET's being used as personal protection.

Toxic Profiles

Factsheets on DEET, pyrethrins, resmethrin and piperonyl butoxide - courtesy of NCAP and Caroline Cox go to bottom of page - pesticide fact sheets. (Piperonyl butoxide, classified as a cancer-causing chemical by the EPA, is often combined with resmethrin, to enhance its lethality, for instance, in the commercial pesticide Scourge, which was used against West Nile Virus in New York City.)

What's Wrong with Permethrin (RAID and other bug sprays)?

Overkill: Why Pesticide Spraying for West Nile Virus May Cause More Harm Than Good Report by Toxic Action Center and Maine Environmental Policy Institute. Includes why spraying is ineffective from an environmental perspective - diminishes the supply of natural mosquito predators. Includes what's wrong with many of the larvicides being proposed.


Canaries Foundation of San Luis Obispo County - Public Action Notice (Draft) Requires Adobe Acrobat reader (500k)

No Spray Coalition - New York City (including their lawsuit against mass-spraying)

Non-Toxic Alternative to DEET

Catnip Mosquito Repellent