After several days of delay, the spraying of our home town has begun. We could hear the plans overhead last night. From the Santa Cruz Sentinel:
After four straight nights of no-show due to fog, planes took to the skies over Santa Cruz County and sprayed a pesticide in residential areas in an attempt to wipe out the light brown apple moth, a crop-eating bug that's capable of causing millions of dollars in damage to California's agricultural industry.
And of course, that's what this was all about: the California agriculture industry. From other reports I have read or heard, the issue was California produce being embargoed by other states/countries rather than actual reported damage.
“I just wish people would come out and say it, that this moth isn't really causing any problems but it's all a matter of protecting California and international trade,” said the owner of Central Coast Wilds Nursery in Santa Cruz. “Because so far this moth hasn't caused the slightest bit of damage anywhere.”
Another question in my mind is about one of our local prides, the monarch butterflies (featured in this week's Wordless Wednesday). Pheromones are generally specific to a species, so should not disrupt the butterflies, but the fact that the product being sprayed is a mystery makes it difficult to say for sure – the same reason it makes us uneasy about its affect on humans and other animals.
I still have yet to hear any reports on the safety for pets and other animals. We at CatSynth are of course still worried for outdoor animals, like stray cats and wildlife, and children and adults with health issues. At least we have been keeping the windows closed at night…