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MEEKER I Members of the White River Alliance spoke to the Meeker Board of Trustees on Tuesday, Aug. 18 regarding changes in mosquito control from the use of permethrin to alternative options.
“There’s a growing number of communities and counties that are banning the use of this product [permethrin] because it is a health hazard, it doesn’t kill mosquitos effectively, and it doesn’t help the river,” said White River Alliance president Shawn Welder.
One of the arguments against the use of permethrin is potential impacts on the health of the river and the suspicion that permethrin is partly to blame for the ongoing algae bloom.
“The river is not what it was,” Welder said. He shared images of river locations that have been exposed to permethrin practice and locations that have not, demonstrating the difference in river health.
Permethrin kills aquatic and terrestrial insects, including those that eat algae. It only kills what it comes in contact with. It doesn’t affect larvae. An alternative pesticide management is BTI, a bacteria that affects larvae.
“If the town would consider using a larvicide, it would be a really good example for the rest of the community,” Welder said.
The town has discussed switching to an alternative pesticide management system for several years.