Osceola County officials plan to use aerial spraying to control mosquitoes in rural areas.
The insecticide being used, naled, has become a controversial chemical in recent weeks, drawing protests in South Florida. South Florida officials are using it to combat the spread of Zika. Spraying naled during the day means other insects, including bees, can be killed; millions of bees were killed earlier this year in South Carolina, likely from the use of naled.
Osceola is spraying for a different mosquito, though, and is spraying in the evening, when most bees will be back in their hives.
“It’s important to note that these treatments are not related to Zika in any way but are in response to ‘flood water’ mosquitoes from standing water left behind from recent rains,” the county wrote in a news release.
The European Union banned naled in 2012, but to protect workers who come into contact with the pesticide. The concentrations sprayed are about a teaspoon over a football field – an amount the EPA has deemed safe.