Communities ban spraying
for West Nile Virus

July 2004
South Euclid recently passed legislation prohibiting pesticide spraying by the County Board of Health for West Nile Virus (WNV) mosquito control, thus joining Lyndhurst, which passed a similar ordinance last year. Shaker Heights, Chagrin Falls, and Medina and Geauga counties also have chosen not to spray for West Nile Virus.

In adopting its spray ban last year, the Lyndhurst City Council pointed to other mosquito management methods that are known and accepted to be more effective including larvacide treatment and public education regarding methods and procedures to minimize exposure to the virus. The council also found that the risk/benefit analysis conducted by experts indicates that the dangers of WNV are minimal and affect a very small segment of the population, while the long-term health and environmental risks of spraying with synthetic pesticides poses a greater risk.

According to Dr. David Pimentel, Cornell Universitys prominent entomologist, Ground spraying is a waste of money. Most ground spraying is about politics and has very little to do with mosquito control.

Health risks associated with the pesticides commonly used may include upper respiratory diseases and a possible increase in breast cancer.

For more information about banning pesticide spraying, contact Barry Zucker of the Ohio Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides (OCAMP) at 440-442-1818, or e-mail at


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