Thursday, June 14, 2012

Kona Mosquitoes and Weeds

While in Kailua-Kona and the Captain Cook area, we haven't been bothered by mosquitoes. They must spray insecticide in the neighborhoods. We leave the door to the balcony (lanai) open, so Frisky can go in an out when he wants, and we can feel the breeze. We close the door when Bill goes out to have a cigarette. The only time mosquitoes were a problem was when we drove up to see some coffee plantations.* 

In Key West, Florida last summer we saw them crop dusting insecticide over the city for mosquitoes. My guess is they may do the same thing here.  I wonder if the vog and with its sulfur dioxide that is a problem for people is also a problem for mosquitoes.

In a book from 1912, The Mosquitoes of North and Central America and the West Indies says,
"...after a rigid series of experimental tests Rosenau of the US Public Health and Marine Hospital Service concludes that sulphur dioxide is unexcelled as an insecticide. He shows that very dilute atmospheres of the gas will quickly kill mosquitoes and that it is quite as efficacious when dry as when moist He shows that it has surprising power of penetrating through clothing and fabrics and that it will kill mosquitoes even when hidden under four layers of toweling in one hour's time and with very dilute proportions."
I don't think it is unreasonable to suspect that the vog would have a negative effect on mosquito population. Negative for them, positive for us. Just don't tell anyone or someone will want to do a million-dollar government study to determine if that is true so they can put a positive spin on the vog.

We've seen people wearing tanks on their backs and spraying herbicide, and we've seen medium-sized tanker trucks with a guy hanging off the back spraying herbicide. On the curbside of family farms and yards, It is common to see hand-painted signs, asking that their plants not be sprayed.

I've heard some farmers here say that herbicides were meant to kill plants not people, so there isn't a problem. Some even advertise their coffee as insecticide free. These people are old enough to remember Agent Orange. I wish they would simply search the internet for "herbicide poisoning."

I think it would be very difficult to grow organically here, yet there are some farms selling organic produce. When we go to our favorite snorkel spot at Keoneele Cove or when going to see The Painted Church, we make a point of visiting our favorite organic produce stand Mary's Organic Garden..
Organic produce stand in Captain Cook, Hawaii (c) Engela & Bill Edwards
Mary's Organic Garden, Hawaii

*Added note:  We found that the jungle areas definitely have lots of mosquitoes!