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Aerial Spraying of Pesticides over populated areas.

Original post made by Rick, Vintage Hills Elementary School, on Feb 28, 2008

The state is scheduled to start spraying 'Checkmate" to irradicate a moth that is threatening several agriculture crops in the east bay in August.
They have already sprayed some in the south bay and there have been complaints regarding its affects on people.

They plan to blanket spray this stuff over populated areas.
They promise that it is safe. However, I do not believe its side effects are unknown.

Comments (32)

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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Feb 28, 2008 at 7:30 pm

I keep hearing this on the news and am very curious as to what the side effects are. If they say none, then I'm just going to believe they haven't done enough research. I have heard from other people that the spraying leaves a dirty film on everything outside; cars, windows, houses etc.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 28, 2008 at 7:40 pm

Has anyone been able to determine if they will be spraying over the Tri-Valley? I didn't see us listed anywhere as a targeted area.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 28, 2008 at 7:50 pm

From: Web Link

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has plans to spray a pesticide over Bay Area cities to eradicate the light brown apple moth. Here are the cities where spraying is expected starting Aug. 1, according to state documents:

San Francisco

San Mateo County: Broadmoor, Brisbane, Colma, Daly City, Pacifica, San Bruno and South San Francisco.

Alameda County: Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Piedmont.

Contra Costa County: El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Hercules, Kensington, Pinole, Richmond and San Pablo.

Marin County: Belvedere, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Sausalito and Tiburon.

Source: California Department of Food and Agriculture


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Posted by Rick
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 28, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Thanks Stacey for the great link
Looks like we are safe for now.


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Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Feb 28, 2008 at 10:18 pm

Article in the Valley Times stated they were only placing traps in the Tri Valley.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 28, 2008 at 11:05 pm

I don't believe that anybody is safe. The spray will circulate throughout the entire bay area and even though Pleasanton is not a targeted area, the spray doesn't know that.

The public doesn't know what chemicals are in the spray. I would not be surprised to see an increase in respiratory problems with children, the frail elderly, and animals.

We will all be more vulnerable as a rsult of this toxic spray. Protect yourselves!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 29, 2008 at 10:08 am

1) It would be difficult to make any claim that the spray will circulate to the Tri-Valley without knowing weather conditions during that time or the weight of the sprayed particles.

2) The public does seem to know what chemicals are involved. Do a Google search for Checkmate. I found some (perhaps unreliable) ingredient list on Craigslist and a reference to the maker, Suterra, suing a local newspaper for publishing or wanting to publish the proprietary formula. Some of the chemicals involved that I remember are an endocrine inhibitor and polyvinyl alcohol.


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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 3, 2008 at 10:24 pm

Um the spray will circulate over to the tri valley. The winds do blow in the summer months down 580. I used to work at a child care place in Dublin, right off the 580 and it was always windy, all summer long- warm to hot winds might I add. Anybody that has lived here long enough knows what the air looks like during the summer months. Drive back into Pleasanton on the 580; you'll see a nice little blanket of brownish, greenish smog. You don't think the spray will be mixed in it this summer? I too think children and eldery or people with respitory problems will have the worst outcome.


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Posted by The Alternative
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2008 at 5:07 am

Without spraying, we stand to lose a crop which has positive impacts to the State's economy and our local school budgets everyone keeps bitchin' about. We stand to pay more for this crop at the grocery store, when again -- everyone's bitchin' about the price of a gallon of milk. Sticky traps are an alternative to use before the problem gets out of hand. Clearly other parts of the state have waited too long to take action.


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Posted by Alison
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Mar 5, 2008 at 7:09 pm

There is unnecessary pesticide spraying in Pleasanton. I've seen pesticide being sprayed around playgrounds, such as at Val Vista park. There is no reason to landscape around playgrounds in such a way as to necessitate the spraying of pesticides. Why have little bushes with lots of mulch in between them, (which is where they spray the pesticides), instead of native groundcover? I saw a toddler run from a van through the just sprayed pesticide area to the playground beside it at Val Vista park. It's just a matter of time before a toddler has her hands all over her shoes and then in her mouth.
How is this kind of unnecessary pesticide exposure to children in Pleasanton justified?


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Posted by Amy
a resident of Foothill Place
on Mar 5, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Many school districts have a no pesticide policy. They use integrated pest management. Montgomery County Unified School District in Maryland is one of many school district which has a no pesticide policy in their schools and on school property.
Why doesn't Pleasanton, the Go Green community, really Go Green and stopped using pesticides in schools and on school property? It can be done, as many school districts have done.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2008 at 7:44 pm

The obvious question... How did you know it was pesticide? Maybe it was weed killer or even fertilizer?


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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2008 at 8:10 pm

LOL- Stacey, a weed killer is considered a pesticide. A pesticide is anything that controls pests, including bugs/insects, plants/weeds etc. A pesticide is not limited to just giant crop/city spraying. When you spray stuff on your plants for frost, or for bugs, that is considered a pesticide.

If a landscaper is spraying local parks, schools, streets etc, it's more than likely some kind of chemicals- well a pesticide- to control whatever nusiance is at hand. Anything that is sprayed in your garden, local parks, or anywhere else for that matter, will eventually go into our creeks, streams, and water systems. Yes our drinking water goes through filration systems but I still don't want to drink that stuff.


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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2008 at 8:12 pm

O forgot to add, pesticides include, Herbicides, Fungicides, Insecticides and many more. Take a guess as to what each are. Rat poision pellet things are also considered a pesticide.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Arguably a weed can be considered a pest, but in general people don't go into a store and ask the clerk for a pesticide when they just want an herbicide. Unless a hawk is also a fowl that is.


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Posted by The Alternative
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2008 at 5:36 am

Posted by PToWN94566 - When you spray stuff on your plants for frost, or for bugs, that is considered a pesticide.

-------------------

OMG, you don't really believe that, do you? Not everything sprayed is a Pesticide.

Your statement in GENERAL terms is accurate. However, so we're clear -- a pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or
mitigating any pest. Though often misunderstood to refer only to insecticides, the term pesticide also applies to herbicides, fungicides, and various other substances.

Under United States law, a pesticide is also any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant. Grab a dictionary if you don't know what these are or what the big words mean.

Many of the household products we use today are pesticides. These common products are considered pesticides: Cockroach sprays and baits, insect repellents for personal use, rat and other rodent poisons, Flea and tick sprays, powders, and pet collars, kitchen, laundry, and bath disinfectants and sanitizers, products that kill mold and mildew and some swimming pool chemicals.

Quick! Remove that flea collar from your dog, put the Scrubbing Bubbles down, and fill in the swimming pool!

Finally, how is a pest defined in conjunction with PESTICIDE?
Pests are living organisms that occur where they are not wanted or that cause damage to crops or humans or other animals. Examples include insects, mice and other animals, unwanted plants (weeds), fungi, microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses, and
prions. (Need that dictionary again??)

As to your point of " When you spray stuff on your plants for frost, or for bugs, that is considered a pesticide" and my contention that is not ALWAYS the case, check out a product called "Cloud Cover." It is intended to protect your plants from frost and is completely nontoxic and biodegradable. It is a clear, flexible polymer that locks in the plants natural moisture. You SPRAY it on foliage to reduce stress associated with transplant shock, temperature extremes and dry air. It is NOT a pesticide.

I'm related to a third generation nurseryman. One who has roots in the California Nursery Industry going back generations. One who holds patents on several plant varieties. I'm no expert, but I know in this case your generalization is ABSOLUTELY incorrect. If you don't believe me, go visit Ms. Jacquie Williams Courtright at Alden Lane or her hubby Tom Courtright at Orchard Nursery & Florist in Lafayette, CA. I suspect they'd both tell you that I am accurate in my statement.

God, ignorant people who spout inaccuracy like you just did make my blood boil.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 6, 2008 at 9:41 am

The definition of pesticide is variable depending upon which dictionary you use. The point I was trying to make (poorly) above was that in general when someone says 'pesticide', people will think 'insecticide' first. If an herbicide or other type of 'cide' is meant, it is usually referenced specifically by name.

This still doesn't answer my original question. How does the poster at Val Vista know what was being sprayed? Maybe it was a mineral oil.


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Posted by The Alternative
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2008 at 10:39 am

Stacey,

Your point was well articulated. My frustration was with PToWN94566 and the "anything sprayed is a pesticide" comment which is totally wrong.

And you are 100% accurate. What is being sprayed could be a mineral or vegetable oil to smother the pests, or water and dish soap, for that matter. If one wants to know, they should pick up the phone and call Parks and Rec rather than making unfounded ASSumptions.


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Posted by linguist
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 6, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Found this in the OED Web Link:
[< PEST n. + -ICIDE comb. form1.]
A substance for destroying pests, esp. insects. Also (occas.): a herbicide. Also fig.
Etymology of pest:
[< Middle French, French peste epidemic, bubonic plague (c1460), a person who causes trouble (c1475), scourge (c1500) < classical Latin pestis plague, pestilence, instrument of death or destruction, source of damage, nuisance, of unknown origin. Cf. Old Occitan peste (1475), Catalan pesta (1507; also as peste), Spanish peste (1410 or earlier), Portuguese peste (beginning of the 16th cent.), Italian peste epidemic, bubonic plague (a1327), calamity (first half of the 14th cent.), troublesome person (a1556).
With (a) pest on at sense 1b cf. French peste de , (la) peste soit de (1649 as peste de la sote; cf. the earlier imprecation la peste l'estouffe, lit. 'may the plague choke him' (1579)). Use in imprecations is also attested for Spanish peste and Catalan pesta (both from the 17th cent.).]
Definition of pest:
3. Any animal, esp. an insect, that attacks or infests crops, livestock, stored goods, etc. Also: a plant that is an invasive weed (now rare).


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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 7, 2008 at 12:55 am

Majority of the stuff sparyed in parks are some kind of "cide". Do you not smell the chemials? My parents used to have their house, yes here in Pleasanton right in between Harvest Park and Safeway, sprayed for bugs every 3 months. It would smell of chemicals right after and I remember not being able to let the dog out for some time. Now, when I go to the park with friends or family and see workers spraying, it smells the way I remember from being 6 years old- some 22 years later. But yes Stacey, whatever the Val Vista person saw it could have been something else. I do know what Cloud Cover is as I use it in my yard.

To whomever posted their nasty comments, maybe you should just climb into a pot and cook yourself- since your blood boils and all. Or better yet, go to every park and ask to taste what they are spraying. Then get back to us and inform as to whether it's cooking oil or not.(Im sure all this will get sensored so have fun editor person) I would rather assume it's a pesticide and keep a child away then be naive and think it's vegetable oil being sprayed in a large community park. And no, please leave your flea collar attached to your neck. We all don't need to get your fleas or ticks.


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Posted by The Alternative
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2008 at 4:43 am

PToWN94566 -- FYI -- We use Keystone every other month for our home in the general area where you grew up. We also have rat bait boxes/mazes in the backyard. No one in my family -- human or canine -- are dead yet as a result. Only rats have succumbed. (Yes, Ptown has rats, even in good clean neighborhoods.) If your parents (or you) need something less toxic that works on apparently everything but human pests, I suggest giving them a call.

I'm thrilled you know about Cloud Cover. Iit's sprayed, so how is it to be classified?

As for your other comments, you aren't worth the time or the effort.


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Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 7, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Was that a medfly in my backyard....... :)


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Posted by Shelley
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 8, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Another alternative to using pesticides against the Light Brown Apple moth is to spray pheromones that disrupt the mating cycle of the moth. If everything smells like female moths to the male moths, then they busy themselves trying to find mates (that aren't there) and thus die off. Either way, using pesticides or pheromones are only treatments, not cures, for a much larger problem. The moth is native of Australia and currently infests New Zealand, Hawaii, the British Isles... How did it get here? Well, maybe those apples from New Zealand that you bought at Safeway carried some moth larvae in a shipment.
Think local, act global.


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 8, 2008 at 5:32 pm

The protagonist in this thread says:

"Um the spray will circulate over to the tri valley. The winds do blow in the summer months down 580."

Protagonist, understand some science before you make this conclusion. Have you calculated settlement times for the spray particulates (yes, particulate settle) given the LOCATION, HEIGHT, and CURRENT WIND CONDITIONS AT THE PARTICULAR TIME the spraying will be done? If you were to actually consider real life behavior of spraying as well as our topography here in the valley which is surrounded by mountains you would decide differently. But I don't expect you would since hand-waving is more convenient to your position.

This thread is a big waste of time since if there is no plan to spray in Pleasanton and the rest is just fear-mongering.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 8, 2008 at 5:56 pm

Shelley,
Checkmate (what is planned to be sprayed) _is_ a pheromone spray.

Jerry,
A little malathion on your popcorn? I remember the "thwup thwup" overhead as the helicopters sprayed us in the 80s.

Recent news from other news sources on the spraying plan reports some scientists questioning the need for the spraying over urban areas instead of just trapping (ie. save the spraying for the crops).


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Posted by Shelley
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 8, 2008 at 11:00 pm

"Shelley,
Checkmate (what is planned to be sprayed) _is_ a pheromone spray."
Well then, if it's good enough for organic farmers in the san joaquin valley (which is where I got my info), then it's good enough for me.
Pheromones, that doesn't sound so bad as pesticides...


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Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 8, 2008 at 11:27 pm

A recent article in the Valley Times reported a scientist from somewhere believes the natural predators of other moths in the area will control this moth and spraying would be a waste of time and resources.

Stacey,

I also remember running out to cover my car in the middle of the night because I had forgotten it was a spray night(In my underwear - not a pretty sight). :)


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Posted by Shelley
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 8, 2008 at 11:53 pm

"The Santa Cruz Superior Court decision was hailed by state Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura, who said it not only reinforces the necessity of the eradication of an invasive species that's an urgent threat to growers, but highlights how harmless the pheromone is to the public. "It doesn't even harm the moth — it merely confuses the male moths so they can't find a mate," he said. _____"It is truly the most environmentally friendly project we have ever conducted in this state._____""Web Link
I just can't help but laugh about the people against the aerial spraying who are probably also against the compromise project of Oak Grove. The hypocrisy seriously makes me laugh.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 9, 2008 at 9:38 am

Shelley,

I think you're not understanding that whether it is a pheromone or a pesticide spray, it doesn't matter what it does as it can still be composed of synthetic chemicals with unknown effects on humans (especially if you happen to breath it in). Checkmate isn't made of the naturally occurring pheromone of the moth and isn't distributed the same way so it has to be engineered. Google for the Checkmate ingredients for more information.


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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 10, 2008 at 11:07 pm

Geeezzz sounds like people want a scientific explanation of what the spray wil or can do. I think I'm just gonna wait till it happens this summer in other areas and see what the outcome is for Pleasanton.

My original point was though, harmful or not, whatever is being sprayed into the air may add to the nasty smog the tri valley gets during the summer months. And if you've never noticed how brown it looks, summer is only a few months away to get a look at what we breath. But some of the suggestions people have thrown out don't sound half bad.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 11, 2008 at 6:02 pm

When malathion was sprayed around here in the 80s for the medfly, it was done at night with very little wind, the helicopters flew very low, and the droplets were all over everything on the ground. I don't think there is much to worry about regarding the spray blowing up and over the hills towards us.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 13, 2008 at 11:21 pm

Inhale mes petites, INHALE. INHALE, INHALE,INHALE!

MORE CHILDREN WITH ASTHMA. MORE ELDERLY SICK FROM INHALE.

STILL, THE FOOLS SAY IT'S SAFE?


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