A week after changing contractors for mosquito spraying, the city of Bellaire announced Monday that it is investigating an incident of dead bees that a resident suspects were killed by the spraying — and that it is ending its seasonal mosquito control program for the year.
According to Raquel Porras, executive assistant on city staff, Bellaire has also reported the complaint to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Bellaire typically contracts to have what it terms an “environmentally friendly pesticide” — actually a fog — sprayed late at night throughout the city from April or May through October or November. The length and frequency depends on the severity of tropical weather that leads to mosquitos breeding in standing water.
On Sept. 24, in the wake of Tropical Storm Imelda, the spraying was increased to twice a week, then a reduction to once weekly was announced on Oct. 18 — along with the use of a new contractor.
In her statement, Porras said the contractor was using the same chemical that had been applied in the city for the past eight years.
But in recent days, two Bellaire residents took to social media to report a profusion of dead bees on their properties following the spraying, and a number of residents responded with their own concerns about dwindling insect and bird species in Bellaire, as well as problems with the actual spraying practices.
Residents have always had the chance to request to opt out of spraying near their property by annually filling out a form here.
“The city of Bellaire takes the safety of our environment and our residents seriously,” the statement read.
Anyone with concerns is encouraged to contact Buster Adams, the parks superintendent, at 713-662-8285 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.