Mosquito tax dividing Grand Blanc Township
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
By Jessica Harthorn
GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP -- Mosquitoes are driving people to the polls next week, to vote on a tax that would keep the pests at bay in Grand Blanc Township.
The community is divided on the issue.
Mosquito control is something Grand Blanc township has been paying for, for years.
Some say they can't enjoy their backyards without it.
Others say the chemicals used pose a health risk.
They make you scratch, swell, and run for cover.
"Mosquitoes have never been more terrible," said Mike Rogers, the District Manager of Rose Pest Solutions.
A Mosquito Control Millage is up for renewal in Grand Blanc Township, hoping to squash the issue.
The proposal costs homeowners about eight dollars a year in taxes
In return, Rose Pest Solutions gets rid of the pesky insects.
"A lot of these subdivisions are built in wetlands and swamps, and without this kind of control I don't know how people can go outside and enjoy their yards," said Rogers.
But one resident says research shows pesticides used for mosquito abatement can cause health problems.
“How much poison do you want to expose your fetuses, children and the elderly too?” said Ernestine Tune, who is a member of The League of Women Voters.
Rose Pest Solutions says they're cautious about the amount of chemicals they use, and residents who support the tax can choose not to use the service.
"I’m allergic to the spray okay, so I’m a non-spray person, but there is a little stick by my house, so when he goes by, they won't spray my house," said Grand Blanc Township Supervisor Micki Hoffman.
This is a mosquito trap, there are 14 in Grand Blanc Township, mainly in people's backyards, and when they are filled with 20 mosquitoes, it alerts Rose Pest Control to spray the area, but it’s only happened eight times this year.
“And that’s half as much as last year,” said Rogers.
Rose Pest Solutions says the public has become more aware of what creates mosquito larvae.
"The pools, the boats, if you can dump them and clean them out, obviously you have long term control, without applying any chemical," said Rogers.
Still, the local Sierra Club what's mosquito control to end.
They’re passing out signs, telling residents chemicals disrupt the eco-system.
“We think that the spray is actually killing the mosquitoes’ predators, dragon flies, damselflies,” said Linda Berker, a member of the local Sierra Club.
Rose Pest Solutions says they use mainly larvaecide, mosquito control that doesn't damage wetlands.
The Mosquito Abatement Program is also used to keep an eye on the West Nile Virus.
Rose Pest Solutions says the last confirmed case was in 2006
The mosquito abatement program has been going on in Grand Blanc Township for 14 years.View article and video
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