Alert about mosquito spraying from Pat Sutton

Pat Sutton has given permission to post her email from this morning (July 13) here:

Hi Gang,

Butterflies in our garden in Goshen, NJ (Cape May County), exploded in numbers by June 30th and have been abundant – plentiful – constant ever since on sunny days, with numbers growing day by day. There were probably 100+ Broad-winged Skippers in our garden today. We’ve had 21-22 species in our garden most days this week. Butterflies are all over Pickerelweed in our ponds, Mountain Mint, Wild Bergamot, Purple Coneflower, still blooming Common Milkweed, and lots of other stuff.

I bring this up because there was a scary lack of butterflies on the “South Tour of Private Butterfly Gardens” on Friday, July 8, 2011, in all gardens on Cape Island. I think we saw 5 butterflies all day long. One Monarch. Two Broad-winged Skippers. One Tiger Swallowtail. One Common Buckeye. That’s not right. Gardens were full of nectar, but devoid of butterflies.

I can’t help but wonder how much mosquito spraying is going on down there. We all know that butterfly numbers go down to Zero after mosquito spraying.

For about 8-10 years I’ve been on the Cape May County Mosquito Commission’s “no spray list.” It was simple to do. I called the Cape May County Mosquito Commission (Phone # 609-465-9038) and asked to be on the “No Spray List.” You’re on it for life, unless you call and request to be taken off it. You don’t have to give an explanation, but at the time I shared that I have a wildlife garden full of beneficial insects.

Being on this list, they have to call me when they spray in my area (Goshen), even if it’s not near me. Since June 14th, they’ve sprayed once each week (mid-week) for 5 weeks now by truck, between 7 p.m. to Midnight. Each time I’ve asked if it’s on my street and luckily it hasn’t been. This week I asked what they were spraying and was told a pyrethrin product, an adulticide to kill adult mosquitoes (so butterflies are fair game too).

This page explains what they’re spraying this year:

This page explains what they’re spraying this year:
Cape May County Department of Mosquito Control

If any of you maintain a wildlife garden here in Cape May County where spraying for mosquitoes is commonplace due to tourism, it might not be a bad idea to call the Cape May County Mosquito Commission (609-465-9038) and ask to be added to the “No Spray List.” Those of you in other counties where mosquito spraying is commonplace can call your county mosquito commission too.

It’s up to you,

Pat & Clay Sutton’s Website

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One Response to Alert about mosquito spraying from Pat Sutton

  1. Keith Taylor says:

    How exactly does the no-spray rule work? i.e. How far from your home are they allowed to spray? Seems to me that they’d need to give you a wide berth to avoid the risk of pesticide/adulticide drifting onto your property.

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