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June 28, 2015


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As you certainly know better than I, Bt pesticides come from several subspecies of B. thuringiensis and involve a variety of toxins of the Cry and non-Cry variety. These toxins can range from quite specific to fairly broad-spectrum, one or another affecting one or more of the large insect orders Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera (which would be the mosquito angle), and Hymenoptera. Do we know the Bt pesticide to be sprayed will target only the mosquito species of interest, or could there be much more wide-ranging ecological effects? We don't want a variety of toxin that will affect other Diptera (possible pollinators included), Lepidoptera (butterflies, moths, etc.), Coleoptera (beetles), Hymenoptera (more possible pollinators), and so on.

Certain Bt toxins can even affect other phyla of animals, humans being in one of those and nematodes in another. Some of the toxin genes have been engineered into Monsanto's GMO Franken-plants. The research on the safety of all this has yet to turn up a direct problem for humans; but there is little of it and it has been conducted by self-interested industry in some cases.

The mosquito and vector control folks need to be much more transparent to the public and name what they are using.

I have been told by an administrator with the program that the dry pesticide is a bacteriological pesticide, I think a strain of Bacillus thuringiensis. Why they don't mention that in their flyer, I don't know.

"Dry pesticide" on freshwater marshes? Wha?

Pacifica.city: As a palindrome lover, I'm on record that we're under no obligation to stock our ponds with mosquito fish:
"Wald: no Pacifica pond law!"


Los Angeles and most of Southern California are in an extreme sellers market right now, as is most of the Bay Area.

Foreclosed properties sitting vacant were the norm from about 2008 to 2013, but the markets seem to have overcorrected once again.

Most foreclosed properties with any equity are being bought up on the courthouse steps by investors and flippers. The ones with zero equity or negative equity (aka underwater) are being sold back to the bank, and the bank immediately puts them back on the market.

I know mosquitos were a huge problem when the market was saturated with foreclosed properties everywhere!

(Editor's Note: All those untended swimming pools are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitos.)

L.A. County has an interesting program where it drops mosquito larvae-eating fish (called "mosquito fish," appropriately enough) into abandoned/foreclosed swimming pools.


(There's got to be a palindrome in there somewhere, Alan.)

Of course, Sharp Park is a pretty specific ecosystem, with some protected species that are under pretty tight controls that probably preclude anything similar, but it's an interesting idea nonetheless.

On a brief sidebar, I might add that Dave Gromm of the City of Pacifica wastewater treatment plant asks that anyone planning to empty or drain a chlorinated swimming pool give him a call before so doing so that he can temporarily take certain live bacteria colonies that help treat wastewater offline.

The helicopter mosquito larvae treatment also will target another bloodsucking fly in what palindrome lovers call a "tsetse's test."

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