Should Mosquitoes Be Controlled Through Spraying?
POLL: One Wildwood resident told city council members he was appalled at what occurred last week, even though it represents a long-standing St. Louis County Health Department practice. Join the resulting survey.
Because Wildwood was founded on preserving the environment, local resident David Schneider attended Monday night's city council meeting to ask why "dangerous chemicals" were being sprayed in Wildwood to control mosquitoes. He said he has experienced "multiple assaults of chemical sprays" at his Garden Valley subdivision residence.
"I found out there are no regulations about chemical sprays for private residences in Wildwood. Isn't that completely insane?" he said during the public participation portion of the meeting.
As reported by Eureka-Wildwood Patch on Aug. 9, county vector control representatives said this month and next are prime times to try to control mosquitoes because they carry the highest amounts of West Nile virus in the early fall. Historically, the rate of the disease increases in late August to early September.
The county vector control assistant interviewed for that article mentioned that Wildwood would be sprayed that week. See previous article: Stink Bait Waits in Wildwood
But Schneider voiced Monday that not all Wildwood residents would agree with spraying, and that without being notified about the spraying, they have no way to voice concerns.
In Schneider's case, he was out walking with his dog when the county's mosquito spraying surprised him. "Those sprays have dangerous chemicals and other noxious materials not appropriate to be inhaled by humans, pets or children," he said. "Just ask yourself if you'd want to be exposed to them."
He implored to council members to aggressively pursue regulations for the use of pesticides and insecticides, citing that county-governed sprays were being placed on homes of half-acre lots, which he believed was a bit overstretching.
City council member Tammy Shea, Ward 3, said she agreed with Schneider about curbing sprays because, based on her research, "sprays were not found to be terribly effective on mosquitoes anyway." She also agreed about the health concerns presented.
Wildwood director of public works Ryan Thomas said county officials long have sprayed and collected insect specimens here, billing municipalities for those services. He thought cities, such as Wildwood, are reimbursing St. Louis County for mosquito control for a total of $5,000 to $10,000 per year.
Wildwood city staffers said they would look into the county's program.