Moorhead City Councilman discusses motion to eliminate aerial mosquito control spraying

"When you look at that public health isn't just human diseases and that is essentially one of the reasons we have vector control."

MOORHEAD, Minn. (KVRR) — Some Moorhead City Council members are expressing concerns over aerial spraying for mosquito control.

“There’s been quite a bit of community members expressing concern in terms of spraying both aerial spraying as well as ground based spraying. There have been other residents who have also expressed support for the current practices Vector Control use.” Moorhead Ward 4 City Councilor,¬† Steve Lindaas said.

Moorhead City Council member Steve Lindaas says the goal is to make sure the council hears and addresses community needs.

A major topic of discussion is the monarch massacre of 2020 when hundreds of butterflies died from being affected by the aerial pesticide used for mosquito control.

“The monarchs that were killed are just the tip of the iceberg when you look at the effect on pollinators. That should be one of these items where you say what other potential effects are we having? Right now there’s quite a bit of emphasis on a one health initiative. When you look at that public health isn’t just human diseases and that is essentially one of the reasons we have vector control,” said Lindaas.

Director for Cass County Vector Control, Ben Prather says the effects of the spray can’t always be guaranteed.

“No one really wants to see any non target effects and I think there’s a general acceptance that there are non target effects. We can never guarantee that we are not harming a non target that’s just unrealistic. We know for certain that’s going to happen regardless if it’s a ground spray, a backpack application or an aerial application. There are no guarantees I think we’ll certainly keep an eye on that migration as it’s moving through,” ¬†Vector Control Director, Ben Prather said.

Lindaas says he expects there to be some division as city commissioners hear community concerns over the motion.

“The idea of a good compromise means everyone is kind of upset. I am expecting more of a comprised approach to this,” said Lindaas.

The motion is expected to be discussed this Monday at the Moorhead City Council meeting.

Categories: Community, Minnesota News, Moorhead