Letter to the Editor: Fan of Mosquito Abatement

Here is why we have a mosquito-abatement sign at the end of our driveway.

About four years ago, I saw a lot of signs for mosquito abatement at an assortment of Door County restaurants and outdoor theaters, so I called a mosquito-abatement company. After hearing the rates, I decided I could continue to purchase foggers and skin repellents on my own. 

About a week later, I overheard someone talking about how happy they were with mosquito abatement because it also got rid of ticks. Ticks carry Lyme disease, which has lifelong, adverse effects. More than 3,000 people had been infected with this disease in Wisconsin as of 2020, and cases doubled from the previous 15 years. Every county in Wisconsin has had reports of St. Louis encephalitis, which is also carried by mosquitoes. West Nile virus is another mosquito-borne illness. 

Now we are in our fourth year of using mosquito abatement, and we still have plenty of dragonflies, bees, hummingbirds and birds on our property. Family dogs do not have to be checked for ticks each time they come in from the outside. I do notice fewer spiders and spider webs around the house and windows (and spider poop), but the biggest bonus has been no deer flies. These are many times more annoying than mosquitos. They also carry diseases. 

Prior to using mosquito abatement, we had three to four weeks, starting around early July, when we could not go outside to use our patios or gardens without being attacked by deer flies. This made our outdoor space virtually unusable for all those weeks during the summer. Being allergic to their bites meant I would suffer with swollen hands, feet or face several times a season. Now we spend many hours enjoying our patios. 

What would our restaurants have done during these last three COVID-19 summers without mosquito-free, outside dining?

This is my nonscientific, anecdotal report on why we use mosquito abatement.

Ginny Siegel

Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin