Friday, August 17, 2012
Will aerial spraying of Dallas for West Nile affect our real estate market?
Will people think we’re all a bunch of polluters?
DALLAS We are a buggy city, buggier this year than normal. Hence for the first time in 45 years, the city of Dallas just fogged major parts of the city in an airplane that took off from Dallas’ Executive field in Oak Cliff.
I am in North Dallas and we are now about three hours into the fogging. I hate that we’ve just basically sprayed Agent Orange on everything, and you betcha I brought my pets in. We have a bird. She has had limited exterior this summer exposure because of West Nile — if birds catch it, they can die fairly quickly! So I feel this may have been a necessary evil.
And we’ve made national news: the Washington Post, the Chicago Sun Times, all commiserating and commenting on the pickle Mayor Mike Rawlings and city manager Mary Suhm found themselves in: Nuke the city with pesticides or do nothing, exposing others to the nasty bites and possible deaths.
This far, this is a God-awful year for bugs: Nearly half of all West Nile cases in the United States so far this year are in Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If the trend continues, 2012 will be the worst West Nile year in state history. The virus, which can affect cognitive function, has killed 10 people in Dallas thus far and caused at least 200 illnesses.
The insecticide is called Duet Dual-Action Adulticide. It’s toxic to fish and other types of aquatic life, and it contains distilled petroleum, which may have even come from Texas.
Aerial spraying is a common response to West Nile, or at least it is in Florida and California, two places known for heavy mosquito populations. I recall nightly pesticide sprays in suburban Illinois. Speaking of Florida and California, people are still moving there.
So will our city’s response enhance real estate and make everyone want to move here so they don’t get bitten or itch to death, or die, show what a great city we have? Or will they think we’re all a bunch of polluters? Inquiring minds want to know!
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