Are the chemicals used to spray for mosquitoes safe? - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Are the chemicals used to spray for mosquitoes safe?

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With the West Nile virus on the rise, Jefferson County mosquito control is out in full force spraying mosquito-killing pesticides into the air from their trucks and planes.

In the sky, on the ground and even underground Jefferson County Mosquito Control is on the hunt to find and kill mosquitoes infected with the deadly West Nile virus.

"When they're spraying I stay inside," said one Groves resident.

Groves residents are concerned as mosquito spraying trucks are rolling up and down their streets.

"We have a small window to spray and night and in the morning," said the Mosquito Control pilot.

When pilots take these planes out at night they fill up with 85 gallons of mosquito spray covering 10 square miles, which is roughly the size of the entire city of groves.

However, the chemical being used is called Envion.  It has active ingredients that may cause skin irritation and health problems in young children.

Mosquito Control pilot of 25 years, Jerry Hinson, says they use such small amounts the chemicals are only a danger to the mosquitoes.

"It's approved by the EPA. It's very safe. It's non carcinogenic."

Groves resident Greg Oatis does his part in preventing the breeding of these deadly mosquitoes by keeping his lawn trimmed and rids his flowerpots of standing water.

And while doing those thins are important to him it isn't enough. He thinks the chemical spraying is the lesser of two evils.

"Something has to be done about West Nile because it's proven that it's killing people," said Oatis.

And because the West Nile virus has killed 16 people in Texas, but no human cases have been reported locally, Mosquito Control will continue to spray to keep it that way.

The Jefferson County Mosquito Control department will continue to make their rounds spraying all neighborhoods in each city.

If you have any questions about when spraying will happen in your area or for more information about the chemicals used give Mosquito Control a call at 719-5940.

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