, Newburyport, MA

August 28, 2013

Praise for mosquito control operation

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Kudos to the mosquito control gang! They’ve really got it down right. No, they don’t kill every biting insect out there, but the birds have to live, too. And, living next to the salt marsh, believe me, the swallows are thriving, while we are able to use our yards. And, yes, there were greenheads again this year, but they were terrible for only about a week or so.

For those “new” to the area, or too young to remember, it was not always this way.

I live in what I consider “bug central.” We used to say “the bugs could carry you away.” My children, who are now in their 30s and 40s, could not take a step on the grass without stirring up clouds of mosquitoes; they could not play outside in the summer or early fall. I would have to spray insecticide at least twice a week just to survive.

And, greenheads!! They also were much worse back then, although if you go back further, to the ’50s, they were controlled in an environmentally dangerous manner. Back then, around the Fourth of July, we would get blanketed by them. Then the crop duster airplane (later a helicopter) would come in and blanket spray the marshes with DDT. This knocked the buggers for a loop (and we now know did a job on the birds). Later in the month, the greenheads would return (the so-called second hatch), and they’d spray again and that would be the end of them ‘til next year.

Today, the greenhead traps, which have been used for many years, have had a cumulative effect, but this method must be maintained or we’ll quickly revert back to where we were.

The larvocide treatment for mosquitoes has proven to been extremely effective. Sure, every once in a while we may get a hatch, but this happens less and less frequently as the mosquito-control staff get better and better at what they do.

So, as you enjoy the outdoors during the warm weather, keep in mind the hard work put in by the Northeast Mosquito Control and give them the credit and support they deserve.

Fred Thurlow