Date: 10/2/19 3:10 pm
From: Susan Horvath <shorvath...>
Subject: Re: [birders] Off-Topic: Update on Opt Out of Aerial Pesticide S
Too much of the non-scientific literature probably doesn't know that
Bt comes in "flavors", so too many things get lumped together that
shouldn't be lumped together. We, as humans, have a tendency to
assign guilt by association. One of the stories that I remember
most... when I was TA'ing an undergraduate course (at Cornell) called
"Statistics and the World We Live In" 40+ years ago went like this:
There's a high correlation of drownings and ice cream sales at the
beach, so you're more likely to drown if you eat ice cream while at
the beach. Bonkers, right? The only thing drownings and ice cream
sales had in common were the temperature. Hotter, sunnier weather
meant that more people decided to go to the beach. The odds of
drowning are quite low. But, the more people out there, then the
closer you are to "critical mass" so to speak, of a drowning occurring
on that particular day at that particular beach.

I'm not an entomologist and I don't read as much as I'd like to, but I
have personally not come across any scientific documentation that
either Btk or Bti negatively target non-target species.

On Wed, Oct 2, 2019 at 5:36 PM Suzanne (Moses) Vedder <suzeev...> wrote:
>
> I didn't see where the fact sheet indicated Butterflies and Moths are *NOT* affected by the Bti spray. I've heard the opposite, and I've heard it definitely harms and kills honey bees. I'm concerned about the other pollinators and non-pollinators alike that will be killed by the aerial spraying; I'm concerned about the trickle-down affect. It seems this response (to spray) is knee-jerk by the state to do "something". Why can't we have more time to get the facts and make an educated, thoughtful decision instead of pulling the trigger now and worrying about consequences later?
>
>
> Suzanne in Big Rapids
>
> Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
>
> On Wed, Oct 2, 2019 at 5:19 PM, Susan Horvath
> <shorvath...> wrote:
> 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
> could
> 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
> Bti.
>
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