Facts Aboust Chemical Pesticides Used in Mosquito Spraying
Scourge (resmethrin) and Anvil (sumethrin) are both synthetic pyrethroids, which break down faster than malathion, but they are all neurotoxins which pose risks to humans, especial children. The pyrethroids also can cause reactions in athsma sufferers and those allergic to them.
Malathion is an organophosphate, it can affect the nervous system, immune system, adrenal glands, liver, and blood. Malathion was the third most common cause of pesticide related illness in California from 1981 to 1985. During spraying in Florida there were 230 reports of adverse health effects, 123 were classified as possible or probable pesticide related illness. These included asthma attacks and other respiratory problems, rashes, and at least one gastrointestinal complaint and one neurological symptom. Because of the potential health effects of Malathion it should be used only as a last resort.
All are broad-spectrum insecticides. They can kill natural predators of mosquitoes, such as dragonflies, damselflies, and beetles. According to the president of the American Mosquito Control Association, excessive spraying can exacerbate or cause mosquito problems by eliminating natural predators. They are also toxic to aquatic life, and could kill fish that eat mosquito larvae.