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Health concerns about mosquito-borne illnesses have been replaced by a more immediate health hazard — contact with toxic chemicals.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 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: