Front lines were foggy in the war on mosquitoes

  • Article by: BEN WELTER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 20, 2011 - 6:18 PM

April 1965: Kenneth Shoberg, a foreman with the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District, sprayed a swampy area near Hwy. 7 and W. Lake Street in St. Louis Park.

Photo: Russell Bull, Minneapolis Star

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The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District has been taking it to our unofficial state bird since 1958. It's not clear what Kenneth Shoberg, above, was spraying on a swampy patch of land near Hwy. 7 and W. Lake Street in St. Louis Park in April 1965. But the agency applied hundreds of thousands of pounds of DDT each year to breeding sites around the metro area until 1968. The United States banned the pesticide four years later. The agency now relies on such insecticides as permethrin and on bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, a naturally occurring bacterium that destroys the mosquitoes' digestive tracts. Take that, you little buggers.


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