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Crawfish farmers opt out of mosquito control in fear of losing crawfish

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Acadia Parish -

Mosquito control contractors could be spraying less in Acadia Parish. It's after some crawfish farmers made the request to be skipped.

Farmers are concerned the pesticide could kill their crawfish. The farmers say they are already suffering because of the historic flood.  

Friday morning, David Savoy watered out his crawfish pond, a little earlier than most seasons. savoy attempted to retrieve the crawfish he has left, after the historic flood. 

While some crawfish were alive, others weren't so lucky.  "That's what we're scared of," Savoy said as picked up a dead crawfish. "These crawfish that came out with the flood and wasn't strong enough to survive." 

Savoy explained how the flood water depleted the oxygen for the crawfish. It caused them to crawl above ground. 

"They've come out with all of this wet weather," Savoy said. "We are going to have a loss. I don't think we'll have as early a crawfish season last year."

Savoy said mosquito spray could add to that problem. He believes it'll kill even more crawfish and baby crawfish. 

"The chemical is not labeled to spray over aqua cultural practices," Savoy said. " It's more of less a disclaimer to not use on aqua cultural practices which is growing crawfish and fish. They tell you on the label that you're better off not using it." 

He added, "We did have a small kill from mosquito spray last year. It was a very small area. I have neighbors who had more that died and this is where the concerns grows."

Glenn Stokes of mosquito control contractors is testing Acadia Parish to see if ariel spray is needed for mosquitoes. It all depends on the population of ariel spray will be used. 

"Every pesticide has a disclaimer to not be used over aquatic areas. Anything can cause harm, but it's very carefully controlled doses. The doses used are 1/2 to 2/3 of a fluid ounce," Stokes said.  

Stokes said the controlled doses should not harm the crawfish. however, he has come to an agreement to not spray within a mile of the crawfish farms.

"We never spray directly into an aquatic situation at a high dosage," Stokes said.  

Farmers say the mosquito spray isn't worth the risk, no matter what size the population is for mosquitoes. 

"We're already scared since we lost the first crop of crawfish because of the flooding," Savoy said. "We can't afford to lose anymore than that. 

The mosquito contractor will present his results to the Acadia Parish police jury at their meeting on Tuesday. 

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