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70 years ago spraying DDT

Answered the mosquito problem in Bluffton

Note: If this doesn’t frighten you, nothing will. The Village of Bluffton (and probably many, many other municipalities), used DDT for over 20 years to kill mosquitoes. Here’s the account from the May 28, 1953, Bluffton News.

Bluffton’s annual war on mosquitoes was launched this week under the direction of Mayor Wilbur A. Howe, as work got underway on a control program, which has proved extremely successful over the last two decades.

Frequent rainfall, which has kept streams moving, preventing the accumulation of pools of stagnant water, has made control spraying unnecessary until this week, the mayor said.

During the normal summer of treatment of Bluffton’s streams, parts of quarries, the village dump, etc., the control required about 50 gallons of DDT and approximately 1,000 gallons of oil.

Part of the success of control measures, however, rests with each individual householder, the mayor declared.

In helping assure a mosquito-free summer, property owners are requested to check and clean eavestroughs, watch continued damp places under shrubbery and to keep lots free of accumulations of rubbish or other places were mosquitoes may breed.

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is an insecticide used in agriculture. The United States banned the use of DDT in 1972. Some countries outside the United States still use DDT to control of mosquitoes that spread malaria.



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