It looks like there is finally good news for some Floridians about the Zika fear that has gripped them this summer. Aggressive spraying of the pesticide Naled in the Wynwood arts district of Miami has caused the area to be declared free of Zika-carrying mosquitos. Even the warning for pregnant women to stay out of Wynwood has been rescinded.
All that is very good news, but elsewhere in Florida the risk still exists, like in Miami Beach. The problem with Miami Beach is the tall buildings and the ocean breezes, which makes aerial spraying very tricky. And the officials feel that aerial spraying is the only way to be sure to and get to all the areas that require attention.
It has been a season-long endeavor in the Miami area. Officials have tried everything within their reach to lessen the risk of the virus. They have taught residents aggressive mosquito control measures that they can take part in, like removing certain tropical plants that can be breeding places for mosquitos. But so far the efforts have not seen as much success as they hoped.
So, they feel the need to spray in spite of the public outcry against it. No doubt the reticence people feel comes from what happened in South Carolina when aerial spraying was done and ended up killing millions and millions of honey bees. After all the efforts to save the bees and find the source of colony collapse disorder, it was undone in minutes by aerial spraying of Naled.
The spraying in areas of Miami has not had the same effect on bees, or at least there hasn’t been a wholesale slaughter like in South Carolina. And officials say that they are spraying the insecticide at levels that are safe for humans. They feel the threat from the Zika virus is worse than any effect from the pesticide.
Of course, no one knows for sure what the future holds. Will the effects of aerial spraying be worse than the damage the virus caused? Since the officials are determined to spray, we can only hope the answer is a firm NO.