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Fargo residents can opt-out of mosquito spraying

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 9:44 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The City of Fargo says if you don’t want your home to be part of the city-wide mosquito spraying, you can opt-out.

Cass County Vector Control uses two methods to control mosquitos in the area.

Those include ground and aerial spraying of a bacterial insecticide.

“I think it is a good decision to keep the program going,” said resident Erik Sather. “When you think about Encephalitis and West Nile there’s a lot that could go wrong with that.”

Not everyone in the city is a fan of either option.

Ben Prather, the director of Cass County Vector Control, says as a courtesy residents can have their homes excluded.

“It’s called a spraying exemption or opt-out exemption,” he said. “That is something we have offered consistently for the past 20+ years.”

This exemption only applies to ground spraying.

The aerial application poses more of a challenge, so Vector Control can’t offer an exemption.

“We’re doing large swaths. We’re covering 50,000 acres or something like 80 square miles, so there really isn’t an ability to do that on one household or one spot.” Prather said. “A quarter-acre yard in the middle of town to try at 200 miles an hour to flip that switch off and on is a bit of a challenge.”

According to Prather, there are typically a small number of residents who choose not to be included.

Even with some of those residents opting out of the ground spraying, it leaves to question how effective are these methods.

“We’re still spraying 25,000, 35,000, 45,000 acres via truck-mounted spraying,” he said. “Missing one spot or one road those mosquitos that are there are going to pick up and move.”

Prather explained ground spraying relies on the wind.

Even if they miss a home, the insecticide will still travel as it is designed to penetrate with the foliage.

If you would like to opt out of ground spraying, click here to sign up for an exemption.

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