Tick Spraying in Selected Loudoun County Parks April & May 2012
Frequently Asked Questions
Note: Spraying was completed May 7, 2012.
Q: What product is being sprayed in the county parks?
A: The product being sprayed is called Talstar which is a commonly used insecticide to control ticks and other pests. Talstar is a bifenthrin-based product and is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for this type of application. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control recommend an application of an acaracide such as bifenthrin, to greatly reduce the number of ticks in your yard.
Q: Why are we spraying in the county parks?
A: The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has adopted a 10-Point Action Plan to Mitigate Lyme Disease in Loudoun County. One of the steps in the action plan was to issue a Request for Quote for the spraying of the following parks: Franklin Park, Woodgrove Park, Lucketts Community Park, Ashburn Park, Conklin Park, Phil Bolen Park, Nell Boone Park, Mickie Gordon Memorial Park, and Claude Moore Park. (Only companies licensed by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services can apply pesticide on government property). The spraying will be focused only on the transition and open areas in these parks; athletics fields will not be sprayed.
Q: How long do I need to stay out of the areas that have been sprayed?
A: It is recommended that people and domestic pets do not enter the sprayed areas until the areas have dried after having been sprayed. This is dependent upon the weather; however, the product typically dries within 2-3 hours. The county has staff onsite to ensure that members of the public do not enter these areas until the spraying is complete and the areas have dried completely.
Q: What are the potential health risks of bifenthrin? Is bifenthrin also safe for children, pregnant women, and pets?
A: If a person (including a young child or a pregnant woman), or animal were to swallow, breathe or touch the chemical, the individual or animal is not likely to become ill. If the chemical comes into contact with the skin or eyes before it has dried, some individuals may have short term irritation that will likely disappear within 12 hours. There are no studies that would indicate bifenthrin exposure risks in humans are increased for children or women who are pregnant.
Q: What are some of the other uses for Bifenthrin?
A: Bifenthrin is approved not only for outdoor use but also for spot treatment indoors for pests such as ants, wasps, ticks, beetles and spiders.
Q: What are the possible negative environmental hazards of bifenthrin?
A: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
, when this pesticide is used properly by a professional, there are negligible risks to wildlife. However, the chemical can be toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates, thus the pesticide control professionals will not apply the chemical near ponds or streams. This chemical is not mobile in soil meaning that there is very little potential for it to enter the ground water.
Q. I am a chemically sensitive/hypersensitive person. Should I take extra precautions?
A: If you believe you may be affected by the spraying more than the average person, stay away from the treated area for 24 hours.
For More Information
Content sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Blake Landscaping