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Why No Mosquito Sprayings in Eastern Baltimore County?

The state's mosquito control program for Baltimore County is without a home, forcing officials to prioritize efforts.

In a particularly active year for mosquitos, and a deadly year for the West Nile Virus, one might think that parts of Maryland with plenty of water—like eastern Baltimore County—might be first in line for a state mosquito spraying program.

"We know that the waterfront's always prone to mosquito activity," County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins said in an interview in her Towson office early this week. "I just don't understand it."

Earlier this month, state crews sprayed for mosquitos in Catonsville and Pikesville, with one more spraying scheduled for Pikesville on Oct. 1. So why haven't they sprayed on the east side?

The answer boils down to priorities and logistics. Mike Cantwell, program manager for the mosquito control section in the Maryland Department of Agriculture, said the spraying program for Baltimore County, once run out of a State Highway Administration facility in Dundalk, is without a home for the season.

Its former staging area had been condemned, Cantwell said, and he said state and county officials hope to have a new home for the spraying program by the time the 2013 mosquito season rolls around.

Until then, Cantwell said, the department is only equipped to spray in the county in cases where a human case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed.

"They have plenty of mosquitos [in eastern Baltimore County], but our ability to provide these services is extremely limited," he said, adding that an Anne Arundel County-based crew handled the sprayings on the west side.

Maryland has reported two deaths from West Nile Virus in the past two months, though state officials have not specified where in Maryland the deaths occured. Most people infected with West Nile won't show any symptoms, but 1 in 150 people will experience severe, possibly fatal complications, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Read more on the CDC website.

Bevins, an Oliver Beach Democrat, said the state's crews should spray on the east side before a public health risk occurs.

"We can not have this happen again next year," she said.

Sending crews in from other counties to do routine sprayings, however, would be "very ineffective," Cantwell said.

"We don't have spare equipment and people to be doing that," he said.

Mike Lurz September 27, 2012 at 04:47 PM
our Eastern Baltimore County Tax dollars..at work, not so much
number9dream September 27, 2012 at 04:49 PM
West Nile Virus is a hoax. The CDC is a group of retired snake-oil salesmen.
william taylor September 27, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Why can't they get rid of the manager and get someone in the office that will get things done and prohibit a crisis before it occurs. To say until we on the east side someone has to in fact get the west nile is off the wall What an A--
David Roberts September 27, 2012 at 06:27 PM
As a former Florida resident, I can say that spraying is only marginally effective. Brevard County did it all the time, and the amount of mosquitoes never seemed to abate much. I wonder what the health implications are to humans from that chemical cocktail that gets sprayed.
Valerie Mettee September 27, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Why wait until the end of the season to spray?
Mark Patro September 28, 2012 at 11:13 AM
I personally do not want to inhale these pesticides. I would continue to support them not spraying these poisonous chemicals into my lungs.
"Woody" H Wood September 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Why does Mike think the east side of Baltimore County is a different county than Pikesville and Catonsville? Cathy Bevins is protesting for us, where Johnny O?
You September 28, 2012 at 11:54 AM
This "fog" spray is designed to very lightly coat leaves, ponds, water puddles, grass and bushes. The affects of this chemical on humans and animals is 100% not known. If our children play in those fall leaves... they are getting that chemical on them. If you fish in a local pond or river... you are catching fish that have been digesting that chemical. If your dogs plays outside... that dog is covered with that chemical. I am 100% against it! I do not want chemicals sprayed on my property, home, lawn, trees and cars. West Nile is over rated with regards to being dangerous. The greatest majority of the people who get it never even know it.
Mike Lurz September 28, 2012 at 12:02 PM
the east side is not different other than we are not getting the county services that we are paying for here
ArcAngel September 28, 2012 at 12:47 PM
I'm pretty sure the mosquito spraying program is a State program. I still think they should be spraying here though. The mosquitoes in my area are large enough to be FAA regulated.
Mike the house buyer September 28, 2012 at 01:31 PM
DO NOT SPRAY!!! You have no idea what chemicals are being used for an UNKNOWN...They say 2 adults have died because of West Nile Virus yet they cannot release ANY info about who they are or WHERE they are!??? Unreal SHEEPLE! Don't spray these unsafe chemicals in and around where we live, Period!
Mike the house buyer September 28, 2012 at 01:33 PM
It's almost FALL and WINTER, why the heck spray if you have to NOW????? This is NOT about mosquitoes. This is deeper than that.
mcgillicuddy September 28, 2012 at 04:11 PM
I'd rather slap the skeeters than breathe the poison.
You September 28, 2012 at 04:27 PM
These CDC stats are very deceptive (or are being used very deceptively)! 1:150 people WHO KNOW and have been confirmed by a doctor to have West Nile get "serious symptoms", not death. Just last week on CNN health they were discussing West Nile and top doctors said that it is nothing to worry about as 10,000's of people get it and never know it because it is as harmless as a minor cold or even less. Only the people who get really sick go to the doctors and find out its West Nile; then, 99% of them are given basic drugs and it goes away in a week or two. Death's are very rare and only in people who have seriously compromised immune systems.
You September 28, 2012 at 04:28 PM
I agree!
Al Day September 28, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I lost a good friend to west nile virus in 2002. Believe me it is much worse than breathing any incectidide residue. Pain, withered body, final bed-ridden with bed sores, then limbs dying before the rest of the body while your loved ones watch on. Go for the spray. It is much less invasive. When I was a kid the county used much more lethal chemicals and no one was affected to my knowledge. The stuff they use today is much safer albeit less effective. The EPA saw to that years ago.
Al Day September 28, 2012 at 05:52 PM
It seems to go away for a while, then comes back months or even years later with internal damage that is devastating. I saw the effects first hand on someone I knew. They are no longer here due to it. You may want to minimize it if you wish, but once you see a casse first hand you probably will never do that again.
Al Day September 28, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Most times the damage is already done by the time you feel something to swat.
Tracey September 28, 2012 at 06:43 PM
of course no one was affected... in the short term. The consequences of spraying would just be part of the combined exposure to all the other chemicals and radiation in our lives: car exhaust, pollution, second hand smoke, leachates from plastics pesticides on food, etc. All of this exposure is chronic and manifest as things like autoimmune diseases and cancer, but not for years. I personally don't want it. I'd rather control it locally by dumping out standing water and either not going outside where I know I will be bit, or by wearing long pants and sleeves. While I'm sorry your friend died due to west Nile, chances are good of contracting some other disease later in life due to unnecessary exposure to harmful chemicals. If you check the link above there is a form you may submit to be excluded from the spraying. Well, at least at the distance of 300ft. from your property. http://www.mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/mosquito_control/mosquito_control_policy.php
Gary Staab September 28, 2012 at 10:09 PM
About 2 weeks ago, I saw a small white truck with some sort of mosquito control writing on the side, pulling away from one of the many mosquito pits around Perry Hall and White Marsh. I guess he was checking the pits for infected mosquitos. Could that be why they're not spraying? Lack of infected mosquitos? And can someone tell me why we have all these pits in the first place? If it is for drainage, can't it be piped into the existing drainage so there is no standing water?
Joe Dolan September 29, 2012 at 01:48 AM
2,300 acres of unused property in Sparrows Point. Why can't that be used as a base?

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