Ag Officials Say Mosquito Control Safe, But Farmers Still Concerned

Jun 26, 2013


A means to control mosquito swarms this summer around Land Between the Lakes is a concern for an organic farmer that lives less that 10 miles from where the Department of Agriculture plans to spray.

Hillyard Farms owner Brad Lowe grows organic crops and raises cattle, hens and pigs in Murray. He says although the insecticide won’t have a direct effect on his farm, he is still concerned.

“I think people ought to kind of consider the other side," Lowe says. " If they can deal with a biting mosquito for another month or pose harm and risk to every other living critter within a five mile radius of that goop.”

University of Kentucky entomologist Grayson Brown says a small amount of insecticide mixed with water will be used on 133,000 acres around Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley and is safe for people and animals.

“The product is being applied at an extremely low rate," Brown says. " It’s being applied at 0.8 ounces per acre, which is a couple of tablespoons per acre -- a tiny, tiny amount. The toxicity is about half the toxicity of table salt, so it really has no effect on people.”

He says the insecticide will even be implemented at night to protect bees. The aerial spray is set to begin Friday weather permitting two miles out from the lakes as far south as U.S. 68.

State agriculture officials say people with health concerns are encouraged to consult their health care providers.