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What is the Borough spraying on us?

Wednesday night, June 4, 10:45 pm, a truck drove around the neighborhood of Recreation Park, Barker Street, Thayer, Park Street and Tasker, spraying something into the air.  A light rain was falling with more heavy rain predicted overnight.


WHERE will they continue the spraying? 

WHEN will more spraying take place? 

WHAT are the health/safety risks to us as a result of exposure to unknown chemicals? 

Can we have a report on this from the RP Health Officer?

Can we hear specific details on this program from the Councilor charged with Health and Safety?

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Comment by tim devabey on May 11, 2017 at 3:41pm

10:15PM May 10, 2017, Ridley Park Highway Department drove down my street spraying for mosquitoes(?).  The ambient temperature was 55 degrees (or less).  Today it rained.  What methodology is being relied upon to indicate a need for spraying adult mosquitoes under these conditions? 

What is the Pesticide Hypersensitivity Registry?

Will my neighborhood be sprayed for mosquitoes?

Spraying for adult mosquitoes (adulticiding) is just one part of any mosquito management program.  Mosquito surveillance, which is done by setting up mosquito traps and looking for areas where mosquitoes breed, and larvaciding (treating mosquito eggs) typically make up about 95% of the program, however, adulticiding is called for at certain times.

Additional info:


Comment by tim devabey on July 7, 2015 at 11:42am

To answer my own question:  Yes, RP is again spraying the neighborhoods for adult mosquito control.  Last Wednesday at 10:20 PM, was a warm evening being enjoyed by people walking around the Park, and my neighbors' kids in the backyard pool.  The RP Borough truck passed by twice spraying stuff into the air.  I wondered about the health risks to those of us who were outside as the spraying was being done.  Maybe I missed the precautions which might be posted on the Borough website.  From the County Health website, I gathered the following cautions about exposure to airborne chemical sprays:

Pyrethroids are chemicals that kill insects, including mosquitoes.

Mosquito control professionals mix pyrethroids--these include permethrin (Biomist®), resmethrin (Scourge®) and sumithrin (Anvil®)--with water or oil and apply it as an ultra low-volume spray that kills flying adult mosquitoes.

If you want to reduce your exposure to pyrethroid spray, stay indoors during spraying and for about 30 minutes afterwards.

Most pyrethroid mosquito control products can be applied only by public health officials and trained personnel of mosquito control districts. Mosquito control professionals apply pyrethroids as an ultra low-volume (ULV) spray. ULV sprayers release very tiny aerosol droplets that stay in the air and kill adult mosquitoes on contact

After spraying, pyrethroids settle onto the ground and flat surfaces. Often, they last only one or two days in the environment.

How can pyrethroid exposure affect my health?

Exposure to the spray may aggravate existing respiratory conditions or affect sensitive individuals.

Persons who apply pyrethroids and are accidentally exposed to very large amounts of these chemicals may experience dizziness, headache, nausea and diarrhea. Children exposed to large amounts of pyrethroids would be expected to be affected in the same way as adults.

There is no evidence that pyrethroids cause birth defects in humans or affect the ability of humans to have children.

How can I reduce my exposure to pyrethroids?

The main way to reduce your exposure to pyrethroids is to stay indoors during spraying and for about 30 minutes afterwards.

Toys that small children may place in their mouths should be taken indoors before spraying occurs to avoid exposure. Toys that are sprayed should be washed with soap and water.

What about my pets?

To reduce exposure, keep pets indoors during and for about 30 minutes after spraying.

What about my swimming pool?

To reduce pyrethroids entering your pool water, cover your pool before spraying.

Chemical praying is not supposed to be done when rain is in the forecast.  It rained later that evening.

Comment by tim devabey on May 14, 2015 at 9:16am


The question you should ask of the Health Officer and Public Safety Councilor is:  Has the Borough resumed pesticide spraying for the year 2015, and what indicators were used to justify the spraying in residential neighborhoods?  Can any resident with respiratory problems, allergies or sensitivity to chemicals request the Borough NOT TO SPRAY near their residence? 

Comment by Linda Shockley on May 14, 2015 at 4:36am

Why/how did this post from almost a year ago pop up?

Comment by tim devabey on May 13, 2015 at 8:09pm

Deja vu all over again...

I think I saw the Borough Highway truck spraying mosquito pesticide at 10:45 PM last Wednesday night.

WHAT is the indicator being used to determine whether spraying on the community is necessary or desirable? 

This has been a very dry Spring which usually favors low mosquito reproduction.  So WHO is making the determination to spray us?

Here are just a sample of the concerns expressed about PESTICIDE TOXICITY and BEE DEATH:

Beekeepers and Public Interest Groups Sue EPA Over Bee-Toxic Pesticides


 Mosquito spray and bee death



Are pyrethroid mosquito sprays toxic to bees?

Many pyrethroids are toxic to bees. Cyfluthrin and lambda-cyhalothrin are highly toxic but fluvalinate (Apistan) has a sufficiently low toxicity to bees that we use it to kill the varroa mite in honey bee colonies. Some pyrethroids can cause sublethal as well as lethal effects. Bifenthrin and deltamethrin have been found to impair honey bee reproduction. The bottom line is that it is important to know which pyrethoids are being used.

The larvicides tend to be non-toxic to honey bees. Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) and B. sphaericus are non-toxic to honey bees. Methoprene, hydroprene and kinoprene (growth regulators) can impact honey bee behavior (time to maturation, etc.) As larvicides are applied directly to water there should be little to no impact possible on bees.

The primary pyrethroids used to kill adult mosquitoes are permethrin, resmethrin and sumithrin (d-phenothrin). Permethrin is highly toxic to honey bees (topical LC50 = 0.029 ug/bee) [http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/Permtech.pdf]. Resmethrin is highly toxic to honey bees (topical LC50 = 0.063 ug/bee) [http://www.npic.orst.edu/factsheets/ResTech.pdf]. Sumithrin is highly toxic to honey bees to honey bees (topical LC50 - 0.067 ug/bee). [http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/dphentech.pdf]

The method and time of application significantly impact the toxicity of pyrethroids. "Ultra-low Volume" application is the 'best' method for protecting honey bees. Applications should be after 3 PM when most bees are back in their colonies. You also want to know where the sprays are going to be applied so you can cover or move your colonies if they are in the spray area.



Comment by tim devabey on June 26, 2014 at 4:53pm

Last evening, Wednesday June 25, the RP Borough mosquito spraying truck again drove over every street in the Borough (according to the publicized description of the program). Once again, within a short time, it rained very heavily.  Spraying is supposed to be suspended in the likely hood of rain.

How is this program being implemented and who is responsible for oversight? 

One of the reasons not to spray during rain events is because the pyrethroid chemicals being sprayed into the air are toxic to fish, and rain water on the streets makes its way to the Lake and our water system.

PS:  Funny thing about some of the negative comments that followed my original blog:  I never mentioned the word mosquito;  I would welcome a responsible review of ALL chemicals being applied on ALL public and residential areas of our town.   


Comment by Howard McCoy on June 10, 2014 at 12:32pm

" What we need to do is figure out a way for everyone to start working together and stop with all the negativity." Well said Kevin, I'm 100% behind that and I'm open to ideas.

This whole RPOL concept is experimental in that there's no text book to follow.  There are other communities like ours growing around the USA and we're all facing similar challenges; narratives, narrative and financial responsibilities. 

Each of us contributing regularly to RPOL is a 100% community volunteer; Rebecca, Sandy, CharlieCharles as well as others who are community "flaggers" who guard RPOL's content.

I'd like to collect local writers who would tell the story of Ridley Park and expound on RP's finest. Find local precinct bloggers who wrote about there neighborhood and more.  We'd be happy to have you join us in our project and to make some public suggestions we could consider.

Comment by Kevin Pierce on June 9, 2014 at 10:49pm
@ Tim when I say "we" it's the people that use this site for other things than to continually bash the current council. Yes I agree that this council is not perfect at times but you guys (the contiunal council "haters") take it to the extremes time and again and it's starting to get a little old. What we need to do is figure out a way for everyone to start working together and stop with all the negativity. That has to come from both residents and council. If that were to take place then major issues facing this borough could be addressed.

Spraying for mosiqutes, which has been done for years, should not be a point of contention just for arguments sake.

Give it a rest and find a more productive way to spend your time.
Comment by tim devabey on June 7, 2014 at 11:21pm


Thanks for the info.  There is a lot on line about this topic reflecting a wide range of health and efficacy questions.  For example:  


 2013 Delaware County
West Nile Virus Program

 There was NO human case of WNV in Delaware County last year (2012).

Spraying for adult mosquitoes (adulticiding) is just one part of any mosquito management program.  Mosquito surveillance, which is done by setting up mosquito traps and looking for areas where mosquitoes breed, and larvaciding (treating mosquito eggs) typically make up about 95% of the program, however, adulticiding is called for at certain times…


Pennsylvania Hypersensitivity Registry

This registry, which is maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), is a list of people who have been verified by a physician to be excessively or abnormally sensitive to pesticides.  Commercial and public pesticide applicators must contact anyone on the registry whose listed location is within 500 feet of a pesticide application site…





Comment by Rebecca Clemmer on June 7, 2014 at 10:56pm

The link posted below does not work, but if you go to the borough website and click on Health Dept. and click there, you can download a pdf of the document about what is being sprayed: Zenivex E4, EPA Reg. No. 2724-807.  The active ingredient is 4% etofenprox, which is a pyrethroid.  If you search the internet with this information, you will locate the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) which provides toxicity and other information about the product.  I work in this industry (pesticides) but am not affiliated with either the borough or the manufacturer.

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