Date: 10/2/19 2:19 pm
From: Susan Horvath <shorvath...>
Subject: [birders] Off-Topic: Update on Opt Out of Aerial Pesticide Spraying -- FW: For Opt Out - Please Complete Survey Link
I just don't get it. 3 people have died THIS YEAR in Michigan. People
have died in Massachusetts and Connecticut THIS YEAR. Horses have
died. Deer have died.

All pesticides are not equal. More to the point, to this particular
group, is that Bt is *not* just one bacteria known to kill
caterpillars (aka bird food).

Those of you who grow anything in the cabbage family in your vegetable
gardens know that the best, and coincidentally organic, control of
cabbageworms is Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki.
Btk does kill caterpillars. It does *NOT* kill mosquitos.
*NOBODY* is suggesting aerial spraying with Btk.

However, another naturally occurring strain of Bt bacterium is
Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis. Bti kills mosquito larvae. It does
*NOT* kill caterpillars. Aerial spraying, if it happens, will be to
spray Bti.

We all know and love Cornell's Lab of Ornithology (ebird etc). Cornell
also has a well-respected veterinary school. Here is what the vet
school says about Eastern Equine Encephalitis:

"Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE) is an arbovirus which is a
mosquito-borne virus. It circulates between bird reservoir hosts and
mosquitoes. Most infected animals and people have inapparent
infections, but EEE can cause mortality in some species of birds such
as pigeons, pheasants, and emus.

Mammals are incidental hosts and humans and horses are the most common
mammals to develop clinical disease. EEE has also caused illness in
pigs, rodents, and white-tailed deer.

The majority of wild birds infected with the virus will exhibit no
clinical signs.

Transmission occurs from the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitos
become infected with EEE when they take a blood meal from a bird that
is carrying the virus. Mosquitos then transmit the virus to other
birds during subsequent blood meals, continuing the cycle. EEE is not
transmitted by direct contact."

Yes, Washtenaw County has decided that it's far enough from the EEE
problem, that it doesn't need to spray Bti at this time. But, that
change. Butterflies and moths are *NOT* at risk from aerial spraying
of Bti. Neither are the birds. Humans, horses, our burgeoning
population of deer, and even our dogs, *are* at risk if we don't spray

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