Friday, February 9, 2001
Board of health members express opinions on mosquito control
At the January 30 meeting of the board of health, members offered their own views on appropriate mosquito control for Carlisle.
Lisa Davis Lewis said that she was on the fence. She agreed with board of health medical advisor Dr. Claudia Talland that mosquitoes were not posing any immediate public health risk. On the other hand the presentation by the Eastern Middlesex Mosquito Control Project (EMMCP) on January 16 was much better than the other program (the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project) that was voted down at the last Town Meeting. Lewis felt that the education that the EMMCP program would provide might be helpful, but that we might not learn anything more than we could by looking at Bedford's data. Lewis didn't like the idea of joining the mosquito control program just to pre-empt state action if a health problem arose.
Board member Martha Bedrosian didn't want spraying of adult mosquitoes unless there were an emergency such as an outbreak of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). But she felt that treating the mosquito larvae (larvaciding) was a good idea because we don't know when the leap from animal carriers to humans might take place for EEE. In addition Bedrosian thought that using the bacterial agent BTI was safer than using a chemical spray for the adult mosquitoes. Cleaning up areas that accumulate water, trapping and evaluating mosquito species and providing education would be good.
Chairman Steve Opolski felt that the town should be presented with the opportunity to join the program. Much discussion ensued about how much money to request from the town. Board agent Linda Fantasia felt that the board should ask for an amount greater than $10,000 so that sufficient funds would be available through the early spring of 2002, without requiring a Special Town Meeting. Opolski felt that too large an amount would raise concerns about larvaciding or adulticiding with helicopters, which he felt the town would reject. It was decided to submit a warrant for the town meeting to join the EMMCP project for a cost of $10,000 and to arrange a joint meeting of the board of health with the selectmen to determine which board would "supervise the program and how it would be run."
© 2001 The Carlisle Mosquito