Mosquito Fogging Fallout II
June 25, 2015, 10:00 PM Report
This is a follow up and companion report to a previous article published in NewsPortRichey in early June. The article offered a critical assessment of the impact of the use of poisonous fog to control mosquitoes in the East Madison Neighborhood of New Port Richey on May 22.
This report registers another pass of the fogger through our neighborhood on the night of June 25 around 10:00 PM. Ironically, the fogger drove right past me as I was getting out of my car, giving me a good dose of whatever is being dispensed. “Darn!,” I said aloud, “I didn’t need that.”
In any event, today I’ll check our gardens, and check with neighbors to see what the impact of the fogging is on our pollinators and other insects. Yesterday, before the fogging, I observed a number of butterflies, including several of our beloved, polydamas swallowtail, the only eastern swallowtail without tails. I also observed several other butterflies, wasps, and a quite a few dragon flies – but no bees. I don’t recall any mosquito activity, not to say there weren’t some in the area.
When I went out later last night (around 11:30), I did notice a spider, whose web was elegantly woven in the mid-branches of one of our oaks. We have quite a few spiders, who create webs in the native plants of our garden – most well above our heads. The webs are particularly striking at night when illuminated with a flashlight – brilliantly catching the light on the intricate lines of their webs. The spider was dangling from the last web it would weave in its life. Convulsing with strong pulses of energy, it resembled a tiny 8-fingered hand opening and closing, opening and closing, as it dropped ever lower, until it reached the ground. It was dead when I picked it up.
Apologies to those who don’t appreciate spiders and would just as soon have one less in the world, but the death throes of the little spider in my oak tree made an impression. So did the timing, about an hour and a half after the poison fogger had made its noxious pass. Also, truth be told, spiders are very beneficial – and as a point of fact, they are pretty good at catching mosquitoes.
So, if anyone heeded the earlier call to monitor the impact of poison fogging, today (June 26) and the next few days would be good time to check the status of pollinators and other insects – and let’s add arachnids (spiders) to the list.
Share your report in the comment section of NewsPortRichey below.
Reports from the East Madison Neighborhood of New Port Richey are especially desired, but reports from readers anywhere are most welcome.
For more background see the previous article. And, please, if you must use insecticides, try not to use them outside the home, and please use only OMRI certified insecticides designed for the specific insect you desire to kill. Finally, please by all means do not use neonicotinoid poisons. Here are a couple of good articles about these destructive insecticides: Is Your Garden Pesticide Killing Bees? and 3 New Studies Link Bee Decline to Bayer Pesticide.
Thanks for joining in this community research project.
Dell deChant is the chair of the New Port Richey Environmental Committee and a professor at the University of South Florida.
If you wish to submit a column, story, or observation like the one above about your neighborhood or New Port Richey, please send a “letter to the editor” at jrtietz[at]gmail.com. We review all entries and run the majority here on NewsPortRichey.