West Nile Spraying Upsets Residents
But, people like Alex Maginness are concerned about their families because the department sprayed near their homes.
"We don't feel like that is appropriate," he said. "We are worried about health. There's a lot of unknown effects of these poisons."
The department's Heather Baer responded, "The CDC recommends that's what you do when you have a case of West Nile, and the pesticide we use is approved by the EPA. It contains the lowest amount of chemicals possible in order for it to actually kill mosquitoes. It has never really posed any threats to humans or wildlife but, in general, we only try to spray in those off-times."
That doesn't reassure Maginness.
"It's a bad chemical; it's a poison," he complained, "and we don't feel it is appropriate for this use."
The health department also sprays Columbia's part of the Katy Trail once a week during mosquitoe season. The department said the virus risk is lower now that temperatures are lower. And, there have been fewer cases of West Nile this year than previously.
To protect yourself from the virus, the health department recommends using mosquito repellents, draining water from bird baths and wading pools, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying indoors at dawn and dusk.