Post-Florence Mosquito Spraying and Organic Farms

— Written By
Flooded tobacco field

Flooded tobacco field. Photo by Debbie Roos.

According to NC State University’s Dr. Mike Waldvogel, things are moving rapidly regarding mosquito spraying in hurricane and flood-affected areas. Unlike previous years with Fran and Floyd, the state is no longer handling spray programs; they are strictly handling advising.

Any spraying is initiated by counties and municipalities. So, now is a good time for organic producers in those areas to identify themselves to the county EOC (Emergency Management) and find out if they are in/near a proposed spray block and get details from their local government.

A press release from Governor Cooper listed the affected counties:

“Due to the increased populations of mosquitoes caused by flooding from Hurricane Florence, Governor Roy Cooper today ordered $4 million to fund mosquito control efforts in counties currently under a major disaster declaration.

Those counties include: Bladen, Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne, and Wilson.”

Chatham County was not one of the counties listed above but since we had quite a bit of flooding I talked with our Chatham County Emergency Management Coordinator Alan Byrd and he said the county has no plans at this time to initiate a spray program.

An article I posted before the hurricane suggested that organic growers and beekeepers register with DriftWatch to protect their fields and beehives from pesticide applications. Click here to read the article.