Here’s a tip about mosquito spraying. Its effectiveness is inextricably tied to the size of the spray’s droplets. The maximally effective droplet size is between 7 and 22 microns. Most spraying results in much larger droplets.
Some years ago mosquito spraying in Collier County, Florida resulted in a die-off of fiddler crabs, which resulted in restrictive sanctions against the spraying. And, the insecticide used in spraying is expensive. So a Charlotte County mosquito spraying pilot, Richard Howe, who also happens to be something of an inventive genius, figured out a way to increase the percentage of appropriately sized droplets and decrease the amount of pesticide by 90%. He met with great resistance from various vested interests.
Mr. Howe, and his brother Bob, are legendary pilots among certain segments of South Florida. I mean, those guys can fly! They can do pinpoint spraying that other pilots just do not have the ability to replicate. Richard Howe tinkered with any number of ways of getting costs down and effective kill rates up. He finally came up with spray nozzles and flying techniques that accomplish both. The droplets, being so small, hang in the air longer than the much larger droplets most spraying applications produce. Since it was the droplet size, not the pesticides, which was the operant factor, research showed that much lower pesticide concentrations could be used to achieve maximal spraying effectiveness.
So, now that the Zika virus has reportedly caused paralysis in 30 people in Puerto Rico, maybe local governments could start taking the virus seriously. It’s not just a threat to the intrauterine development of fetuses. According to a news item of a few days ago, someone was saying that, well, paralysis is rare and temporary and nothing to worry about. Unless, that is, the muscles that get paralyzed are the ones involved in breathing. Yeah, that might be a problem. Ya think? Jesus, what does it take to get people to wake up?
Remember polio and the “iron lung” machines of the 1940’s and ‘50’s? Polio victims whose breathing muscles were paralyzed had to be kept in the machines, which artificially pumped the air in and out of their lungs. Do we really want to go there again?
Again and again, disasters of all types are linked to one common cause–lack of
imagination in people who are responsible for preventing them. So, while people are wasting time trying to get the U.S. Congress to get its collective sorry asses in gear to get some research funding into the pipeline pronto, if not sooner, maybe South Florida and Caribbean local governments could think about contacting Mr. Howe’s company, Application Dynamics. Y’know, to at least look into some less environmentally intrusive and destructive ways to kill mosquitoes, for the time being.
Because, while the infected mosquitoes may only have a range of about 400 yards or so, that of the people they infect has a considerably wider radius.