Health and Safety
|Licking Township hosted a Roundtable Discussion on the issue of mosquito control and West Nile Virus on March 20, 2003 at 7:00 PM. Dawes Arboretum hosted the meeting in their Firelight Room. The purpose of the roundtable was to assist in the The Board of Licking Township Trustees in establishing a mosquito control plan for the purpose of preventing the diseases that mosquitoes carry that have serious implications for the health and safety of our residents. The Township's decision making in this matter needs to be based on the broadest range of current information and thinking. The public roundtable as well, offered residents information and dialogue with their community leaders about what they believe should be done about this problem. All Trustees and Clerks from the other Licking County townships were invited by a mailed invitation. The presenters were Joseph Ebel, Licking County Health Commissioner; Timothy Mason, Natural Resource Specialist, The Dawes Arboretum; Howard Siegrist, Extension Agent, The Ohio State University Extension Office; and Ryan Sullivan, retired organic chemist . The program was moderated by Judith Thomas, Ph.D.. A questionnaire was completed by the attendants of the meeting and the total of responses of attendees completing the form is available for review. As well, The Buckeye Lake Beacon's article covering this meeting is available on this site to give information presented at the meeting.|
Joseph M. Cooper
President, Licking Township Board of Trustees
Note: The Buckeye Lake Beacon article and Questionnaire totals can also be viewed below.
West Nile Virus awakening for another season “We made the risk for West Nile in Shaker Heights very low," he said. “We're very proud of what we accomplished"
By Scott Rawdon
The Buckeye Lake Beacon 3/27/03
JACKSONTOWN -The vast majority of people who contract the West Nile virus don't | know it, nor are they aware that they may be cultivating it, said a panel of experts. "Many folks don't realize that they are contributing to the problem," said OSU Extension Agent Howard Siegrist, who was one of a four‑member panel that discussed control of the deadly West Nile virus Thursday night, March 20. The panel met in the Firelight Room of Dawes Arboretum. Members agreed that the best way to control the virus is to control the mosquitoes that transmit it, mainly through eliminating sources of polluted standing water and destroying mosquito larvae where possible.
"Stagnant water is the main breeding ground," said Dawes Natural Resource Specialist Timothy Mason. Everything from birdbaths to old tires can serve as a breeding ground, as can pools of water caused by improper drainage, he said. “Go out and look at your property and try to get rid of the breeding grounds." Once the mosquitoes start flying, it's really too late to control them, said panel member Ryan Sullivan, a retired organic chemist and a member of the Ohio Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides. Ryan, a Shaker Heights resident, was instrumental in the Cuyahoga County city's fight to control West Nile . Over 200 cases of West Nile , nearly half of all cases reported state‑wide, occurred in Cuyahoga County last year.
Larvicide most effective killer
Some of that success was gained through destroying mosquitoes while they were still in the larval stage.
"Larvicide is the best way to control mosquitoes. Pesticides are the worst," Sullivan said. Mosquitoes exist in the larval stage for about eight to 12 days early in the summer. That, he said, is the time to kill them.
Panel member Joe Ebel, Licking County Health Commissioner, said that once cases of West Nile virus are reported in people (as opposed to animals) it's time to start spraying adult mosquitoes. But, spraying every week is overkill.
"You're just wasting money," he said.
Sullivan said that larvicide can be expensive, but it won't cost more than spraying multiple applications of pesticides throughout the summer. If using a larvicide, however, make an extra effort to let people know it's being done. Larvicide is completed quickly and quickly in remote areas, and residents will think that nothing is being done.
“Only use pesticides when absolutely necessary," he said.
Of the over 200 cases of West Nile reported in Cuyahoga County last year, Sullivan said that 19 were fatal. All of the fatalities were 80 years old or older.
"Target the elderly when you create your programs," he said.
Mason warned that "bug zappers" are useless against mosquitoes.
“They're not attracted to light," he said.
On the other hand, Sullivan said aerosol repellents like “Off” can be very effective protection.
“We're taking about disease prevention. You have to get bitten to be infected," he said. He urged repellant users to read the instructions. “These things aren't vitamins, they should be used carefully."
Sullivan said the repellents don’t last long and users, especially children, should bathe before sleeping as its active ingredient can soak through skin if given enough time.
Most people who have West Nile , said Sullivan, are completely unaware, as it often has no symptoms. If four people have symptoms, it's likely that at least 60 are infected in the vicinity.
Mason made clear that mosquitoes do play an important role in nature and urged people not to think that they can or should be exterminated completely."Mosquitoes have been and are a public threat," he said. "You really have to nip it in the bud. But you don't just run down the street and spray. We'll never get rid of all the mosquitoes, there's limits to what we can do. People just need to use common sense." Questionnaire TotalsPlease take a few minutes and complete the following questions. Please give your township of residence so your responses can be forwarded to your township trustees.
Ebel added that all mosquitoes could not be eradicated even if someone wanted to do so. There are simply too many of them. Extreme care must be taken when controlling the population.
Your Township of residence ____Licking______________
Do you believe control of mosquitoes and associated infectious diseases is a:
______ Minor problem __50%__ Moderate problem __50%__ Serious problem
What would be your personal prioritization of the use of your township’s efforts/funds for the following abatement methods? (Prioritize by number)
_60 pts._ Larviciding (destroying mosquitoes before they hatch) by – Township purchasing materials and making it available to residents for personal use in mosquito breeding areas.
_67 pts._ Larviciding (destroying mosquitoes before they hatch) by – Township treating mosquito breeding areas, including private property.
_77 pts._ Providing education to residents about ways to reduce mosquito breeding.
_36 pts._ Adulticiding (destroying adult mosquitoes) by the use of pesticide spraying.
_35 pts._ Tire recycling program that would subsidize the cost of recycling tires.
_____ Other (Please describe) _Township should keep ditches clean and flowing__
Does this problem warrant more restrictive zoning in your township to reduce the environments that commonly breed mosquitoes? _50%_ No _50%_ Yes
If your township would use pesticide spray to reduce the mosquito population, is it important to you to be notified? _7%_ No _93%_ Yes
If you answered yes to the above question, in what manner would you prefer to be notified?
_38%_ Newspaper publication _33%_ Signs posted along roadways _29%_ Other*
Do you have any comments about this topic that you would like to share with your township trustees?
*Local radio notification________________________________________________________ *Email notification____________________________________________________________ *Television notification________________________________________________________ *Posting of notification on every door is area that is going to be sprayed______________ *Mailing notification___________________________________________________________
Name and Address (optional)_____________________________________________________
* Describe in comments section. Feel free to use other side.