Vector Control addresses Monarch Butterfly deaths after mosquito spraying

FARGO, N.D. – Cass County Vector Control’s director calls the demise of thousands of monarch butterflies across the Fargo-Moorhead area an unfortunate consequence of aerial spraying.

About 100 square miles were covered when crews sprayed for mosquitoes Wednesday night.

Director Ben Prather says he was overwhelmed by complaints about mosquito numbers ahead of the application and now he’s hearing from people upset about the butterflies.

A petition has been started to change the pesticide used to a Pyrethoid based insecticide. It’s something Vector Control already uses.

Prather says the pesticide is the least toxic available.

“They mourn the loss of these insects that everybody enjoys and appreciates, they are beautiful creatures. We’re saddened by it, but the human health, and human comfort is paramount. That’s why we are here,” said Prather, “We’re in the middle of a pandemic. The last thing we want to do is tell people don’t go outside because the mosquitoes are so bad.”

Pyrethroid is based off of the chrysanthemum flower and kills mosquitoes and other insects by paralyzing them when they touch or eat it.

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