Biting Issue Faces County

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In 2003, both the city of Meridian and Lauderdale County invested money in equipment for mosquito spraying. Night after night, crews blanketed various areas with chemicals designed to kill the pests.

But Thursday, supervisor Ray Boswell said the process may be doing more harm than good, killing "good insects" such as honey bees, worms, butterflies.

"We may have some liability on killing those things, just like the honey bee. All these people have hives. All the bees are dying. Not only are the bees dying, the Catawba worms are dying. Who knows what else is dying from it? So the county needs to take a close look at that," said Boswell.

County engineer Neal Carson said the chemical used last year destroys insect larvae. He pointed out it was the same chemical used in the city. That led to the question of what might this spray be doing to the local environment.

District 2 Supervisor Jimmie Smith told Carson he wouldn't have a problem with further investigation.

"I think you need to check with the company and see if the chemicals we're using are environmentally-friendly or not," said Smith. "And I would think that they should be, but I don't know that for a fact."

The subject will be on the agenda for Monday's regular board meeting and a motion endorsing further investigation is likely to be approved.