September 20, 2008
Editor’s note: Once again, the government exploits a natural disaster in order to violate Posse Comitatus and intrude on the lives of the American people.
If you see low-flying military aircraft in the skies over Terrebonne or Lafourche tonight, don’t worry, we’re not under attack – the mosquitoes are.
Standing water left after Hurricane Ike’s storm surge created an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, according FEMA officials.
In order to combat the disease-carrying insects, the Air Force will use C-130 planes to spray for mosquitoes, similar to actions taken locally after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The spraying is necessary to prevent the possible spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus and other encephalitis that pose a threat to health and safety.
West Nile can cause health problems ranging from severe headache to brain swelling and eventual death.
The spraying will occur during the last two hours of daylight. According to the Department of Health and Hospitals, people can expect to see large, gray, low-flying aircraft flying 150 feet at or above ground level during the actual spraying, and the noise will be “fairly loud.”
The planes will be spraying a pesticide known as Dibrom, or NALED, commonly used in Louisiana to control emergency mosquito outbreaks. When used properly, it is nontoxic to humans, plants and animals, but can reduce the mosquito population by at least 90 percent.
The spray can be compared to “dropping liquid from a shot glass over a football field” and won’t “rain down” on residents, state officials said.
But if you want to avoid interaction with the insecticide, stay indoors during the spraying or wear long sleeves and pants.
All spraying will follow Environmental Protection Agency guidelines and is being managed by state health officials.
Beekeepers in the area should take protective measures to prevent damage to their hives. Both state and military entomologists will monitor all spray operations, including dosage.
Lafourche and Terrebonne are the first parishes to be sprayed Friday. Some parts of Grand Isle will also be sprayed.
On Saturday, Plaquemines Parish, the Lafitte area of Jefferson, and any leftover parts of Lafourche or Grand Isle will be sprayed. The crews will be in St. Mary and Iberia parishes Sunday.