Mosquito Spray Drift
The drift of mosquito spray from its intended target is becoming a health hazard in the Borough of Media. Several residents have reported adverse effects from contact with clouds of mosquito spray applied on neighboring properties that then drift into their vicinity.
Health concerns about mosquito-borne illnesses have been replaced by a more immediate health hazard — contact with toxic chemicals.
We would like all Media residents to be aware that there are safer, more effective ways of controlling mosquitoes that do not have adverse effects on human health such as mosquito dunks. Also, the use of mosquito spray poisons aquatic ecosystems, kills pollinators, and eliminates insects and other organisms that prey on mosquitoes.
Mosquito spray companies have recently been marketing heavily to residents of Media Borough, despite the previous practice of avoiding densely populated areas such as Media. A commonly used chemical is marketed as Talstar, which has the active ingredient bifenthrin. The chemical is described as being “moderately toxic to humans and animals while being highly toxic to fish. Bifenthrin works by affecting the nervous system and causing paralysis in insects.”
Indiscriminate mosquito spraying is undermining Media’s status as a pollinator-friendly town, as recently highlighted by its Bee City USA designation. A continuation of this practice will reduce the number of flowers, bees, butterflies, and birds that we enjoy as an essential part of life in Everybody’s Hometown.
We urge Media Borough residents to report drift of mosquito spray onto your property to both the Delaware County Health Department (484-276-2100) and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (610-489-1003 or email Emily Fricke firstname.lastname@example.org for complaints).
A message from the Borough of Media Environmental Advisory Council, Transition Town Greater Media Biodiversity Group, and Bee City USA, Media Chapter.
For more on natural mosquito control:
Penn State Extension also has good information on mosquito biology and control: https://extension.psu.edu/mosquito-biology-and-control
Control Mosquitoes Naturally
Using Mosquito Dunks
Mosquito dunks are a great way to control mosquitoes. Mosquito dunks contain Bacillus thuringiensis (Bti), a bacterium that is deadly to mosquito larvae but harmless to other living things. Each dunk kills mosquito larvae for 30 days.
Remove Standing Water
Standing water is a mosquito breeding ground. Be a water detective. Look for areas of your property that serve as containers for stagnant water. Here are actions you can take:
- Remove old tires, cans, buckets, and pots—anything that can trap rainwater.
- Drain potted plant saucers.
- Turn plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows upside-down when not in use.
- Change birdbath water every three days without fail.
- Install gutter gloves. These rain gutter guards keep out mosquitoes.
- Or add Mosquito Dunks granules to rain gutters.
- Remove leaves and any obstructions from downspouts.
- Look for pools of water created by low ground areas on your property.
- Position tarps and boat covers to allow rain runoff.
- Keep swimming pools chlorinated.
- Stock ponds with minnows—they eat mosquito larvae.