- Associated Press - Thursday, November 26, 2015

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) - Mosquitoes be warned - Mount Pleasant will be targeting you when warm weather returns.

The city will spend more than $85,000 next year to control the blood suckers with chemical spray, The Morning Sun in Mount Pleasant reported (https://bit.ly/1LBAGVd ).

City Commissioners adopted a bid Monday for the work following a public hearing where some spoke in favor of spraying, while others expressed concern of dangers to the environment.

“Sometimes, mosquitoes come in like denizens,” said Sharon Tilmann, a resident and former Mount Pleasant mayor.

The bugs are such a problem that Tilmann and many of her neighbors have installed screens around their porches to enjoy the warm weather, she said.

“Some days in the summer, the city is anywhere but a comfortable place to be,” Tilmann told commissioners, “and with West Nile virus it could even be unsafe. I don’t want to rely on my neighbors to spray. I don’t want willy-nilly spraying.”

West Nile virus can cause inflammation of the brain. Mosquitoes pick up the virus from infected birds and can pass it on to people.

But spraying could kill flies and other types of insects, impacting birds, frogs and other animals along the food chain, Isabella Conservation District education coordinator Mike LeValley said.

One spray suggested for use could be toxic to all insect species, he added.

“It does affect bats. It does affect birds,” LeValley said. “Bats might only have about 6 percent of their food source as mosquitoes, but if you eliminate all species, you take away all of the food. The big thing is to realize it’s not just affecting us when you spray for mosquitoes, it’s affecting all the other species.”

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Information from: Morning Sun, https://www.themorningsun.com/


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