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E-M:/ West Nile Sprawing Forum Tonight


'Killer mosqitoes' focus of Sierra Club West Nile forum

Detroit Free Press/Bill Laitner, Hugh McDiarmid Jr.

More information:
Mary LaFrance
Carol Izant

Mosquito Bucks And Bites Debated
Will Oakland County’s West Nile Plan Create More Killer Mosquitoes?

At 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 3, 2003 at The Southfield Reformed Presbyterian Church in Southfield, Sierra Club will feature one of Wayne State University’s premier infectious disease medical specialists who will be joined by three leaders in the West Nile virus mosquito spraying controversy. The discussion will center on Oakland County’s ambitious mosquito control program—a plan to fund high-risk chemical spraying that may be ineffective and could actually weaken our defenses to the disease.  Oakland County in 2002 was the epicenter of West Nile in Michigan, a state with one of the highest rates of West Nile infection in the country.  The disease killed 48 Michigan residents last year and public health officials in Oakland County have a plan of attack this year. But is the plan more hazardous to humans than the mosquitoes?   Will it really work? Or are we laying the groundwork for creating a population of killer mosquitoes who become highly resistant to chemical sprays? The program will focus on these questions and possible alternatives to spraying.

Who:    Dr. Jack Ebright, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Wayne State University; Ray Meeseman, Ray Meeseman Company; Robin Hayes, Bat                     Conservation of Michigan, and; Laura Erpelding, People Against Chemical Contamination Political Action Committee

What:    Southeast Michigan Group of Sierra Club program

When:   Thursday April 3, 2003 at 7:00 p.m.
Where:   The Southfield Reformed Presbyterian Church
               26550 Evergreen Road, Southfield, MI 48076
               (south of Eleven Mile on the east side of Evergreen)

Sixty-one communities in Oakland County are eligible for funding to implement a mosquito control program to thwart the West Nile Virus. West Nile is a mosquito-borne virus, carried by the Culex pipiens mosquito that is commonly found in urban areas. Municipalities in Oakland County will be using larvicide and mosquito traps to monitor mosquito breeding.  Biological controls such as larvicides, will be used in catch basins and other areas while "targeted" sprays will be applied if necessary, using malathion, pyrethroids, Anvil and any number of other chemicals. Sierra Club has serious concerns about the planned spraying.  It is believed spraying natural areas and wetlands could threaten non-targeted organisms like birds and beneficial insects.  Pesticide spraying often results in new generations of pesticide resistant mosquitoes.  Entomologists question a spray-based strategy that will likely kill a limited number of mosquitoes with reinvasion of treated areas reoccurring within hours.