Mosquitoes

Twice a week the mosquito spray truck meanders up and down the streets and alleys of Monte Vista, Colorado. It’s a targeted spray that hits only mosquitoes with some kind of biological warfare that doesn’t affect other insects. It’s laced with an odor that any human would recognize as bug spray.

And why?

West Nile Virus hits not only animals but people and a few people die from it each year. It’s dangerous to horses.

West Nile virus (WNV) causes a potentially fatal encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord) in a variety of mammals such as birds, horses, and humans. While long recognized in Africa, Eastern Europe, West Asia, and elsewhere, WNV was first diagnosed in North America in 1999. Since then the disease has spread rapidly throughout the continent.

Clinical Signs: Classic clinical signs of horses infected with the WNV include fever, ataxia (incoordination), stumbling, hind limb weakness, depression, anorexia, recumbency with the inability to rise, muscle tremors, teeth grinding, dysphagia (inability to swallow), head pressing, signs of colic, a flaccid (limp) paralysis of the lower lip, aimless wandering, excessive sweating, behavior changes, and convulsions or even coma.

https://www.vet.k-state.edu/vhc/services/equine/timely-topics/wnv-fact-sheet.pdf


So, considering there are probably more horses than people out here, spraying is a good thing.

The guy that drives the truck is very nice. When I walk the dogs in the evening, and he’s out spraying, he always waves, smiles, stops and suspends the spray when he sees us, picking up his work again when we’re out of range.

BUT…I remember another time when I was a kid in Nebraska and we followed the mosquito spray truck that was shooting out DDT. Those were the days when we thought it was fun to run around in a yellow cloud of pesticide.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/07/30/rdp-tuesday-odor/

13 thoughts on “Mosquitoes

  1. “BUT…I remember another time when I was a kid in Nebraska and we followed the mosquito spray truck that was shooting out DDT. Those were the days when we thought it was fun to run around in a yellow cloud of pesticide.”……….oh my goodness, I just laughed my butt off after reading this! Those were the days……my parents would even yell out to us, letting us know it was coming……..

  2. They won’t spray here anymore. Our woods — ALL the woods — are at least partly wetlands and the spray gets in the water and the water gets into the aquifer. But we have a lot of animals. Cows and MANY horses — a lot of breeders of the really big horses out here like Percherons and Belgians. Some saddle horses and jumpers, too. Of course, because our woods are partially wetlands, we REALLY have mosquitoes. On the other hand, the birds are doing better since they stopped spraying. I know these sprays are only supposed to biologically affect a particular insect, but I’m not sure it’s entirely true. The only time I really don’t care is when the gypsy moth caterpillars hit. Then, I’ll do anything to make them go away.

    • Horses can be vaccinated against West Nile. Birds carry it — mostly corvids and jays — and mosquitoes get the virus from them. West Nile also kills those birds. I think the spray in town is mostly for the benefit of people. It would be impossible and absurd to spray the entire Rio Grande basin and wetlands.

  3. We lived near a swamp and literally had clouds of mosquitoes. You lived with them or you stayed inside. Fortunately, they never considered me tasty as occasionally I had a lot of “exposure” to them.

    • They don’t seem to find me tasty, either. With one of the exes I used to try to take after dinner walks and he would be mobbed by mosquitoes and I thought he just didn’t want to go out. But I’ve learned that it really wasn’t him. It was me. 🙂

Comments are closed.