Wednesday, March 5, 2008

“No Spray” Fray

Local groups in Nashville are up in arms over a proposal that would prohibit residents from opting out of the city’s mosquito spray program--no exceptions. Activist group No Spray Nashville has the goods.

Apparently the city issued a new mosquito control policy back in February, and we’re in the middle of a public comment period. Heh. Guess I need to pay more attention to local news.

I have mosquitoes, because an open storm water drain runs behind my house. I know that’s the source of my mosquito problem because the drain is constantly damp, and anyone walking by it in the summer is instantly swarmed. No other part of our yard has that issue.

So I’d love to have our yard sprayed. But we also have a waterfall and koi pond. Our dogs and cats go outside (some of them, at least), and there's a playground across the street. And no, the koi pond is not the source of our mosquitoes. You’ll have to trust me on this one.

I’ve also read some disturbing things about the mosquito control product Metro uses, Anvil 2+2. These things usually involve scary words like “mutagens” and “endocrine disruptors” and “genotoxic compounds.”

So if it’s all the same to Metro, I’d just as soon retain the right to opt out, please.

I understand why Metro is so concerned about mosquitoes, what with all of the “West Nile Virus” fear-mongering we get every summer. But if that’s the case, then shouldn’t we not put open stormwater sewers through people’s backyards? Shouldn’t we not keep building gigantic detention ponds in front of every new housing development? When it rains these things become humongous mosquito incubators.

How about less spraying and smarter planning, development and stormwater engineering? Just a thought.