Humans are more important than birds. Bring back DDT!

It’s spring in Maine, and my Facebook news feed is full of people reporting about the number of ticks they are already finding this year.

Turkey hunters, pet owners, people doing yard work, and people just our for a stroll in the woods or overgrown areas are finding ticks on themselves, and their pets.

People talking about ticks is not a new thing, what is new, is the number of people starting to talk about DDT.

I have written blogs in the past, and have been crucified by people dead set against using DDT again. Now it seems other people are getting tired of insecticide resistant insects, exploding tick populations, and the very real threat of Lyme disease.

In the 1950’s and 60’s, DDT was used by anybody and everybody. Talk to folks who are in their 60’s or older, and grew up in a rural area, and you will find that many of them recall having DDT put directly onto their skin.

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Others will recall working in the fields as they were being sprayed.

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Even people living in cities, and suburbs will recall that their fathers had it in their garage to keep bugs out of the flower, and vegetable gardens, and homes.

While defending my opinion on the use of DDT, I have read many articles and studies on the subject, and I have tried to keep an open mind.

Research has proven to me, what logic had already suggested. The primary reason DDT was banned was because of the harm to large birds. Specifically, it caused birds to lay eggs with brittle shells, and large birds crushed their own eggs while simply trying to incubate them.

That is a tragedy, but it is by no means reason enough to cause people financial distress, and most importantly put their health at risk through insect-borne illnesses. I mean there have been recent incidents of bubonic plague for crying out loud!

I could not find one single study that pointed to human health issues DIRECTLY linked to casual DDT exposure. In addition, I asked people on facebook if they knew of anybody with a direct DDT caused illness.

A few people suggested they knew somebody who had health issues because of DDT but further probing on my part discovered there were underlying issues that DDT aggravated, and research supports that.

On the other hand, I personally know people suffering from Lyme Disease, and know many more people who do as well.

Do your research, and you will find that the biggest reason for the ban on DDT is environmental concerns, mostly birds, and this was brought about by the writings of Rachel Carson.

The momentum is slow, but people are starting to see that DDT can prevent human suffering.

It is time to seriously consider well regulated, and short-term use of DDT to get control of insects. Yes, DDT use DID cause several species of large birds to become dangerously close to extinction but bear in mind, this was because anybody and everybody can, and did use DDT for nearly four decades!

We need to bring back DDT in areas with insect problems, and not just ticks, but mosquitoes, and bedbugs as well. Limit the use to trained professionals, and set a time limit on the usage… say twenty years.

This limited use should have a noticeable impact on insects in a short time, and any impact on birds, although tragic, will not be permanent.

I’ve said it before, and I am saying it again. If I could prevent 1 person from getting Lyme disease, I would kill a million bald eagles. If I could end Lyme disease forever? I would wipe bald eagles off the face of the earth forever!

I urge people to take a few minutes out of their day and do some research on their own. Look past the “Silent Spring” hits in Google.

When you read anti-DDT articles note the terms “potential health risks” “high exposure” and “widespread usage”, supporting that limited use is not a death sentence to humanity, and birds. Also note that DDT is still used in other countries, and regulated.

Find out for yourselves, and then contact your state and federal legislators and tell them human lives are more important than birds! Bring back DDT!

Doug Alley

About Doug Alley

I grew up in Bath, Maine in an upper lower class family with 3 step sisters, a step brother, and a little sister. After high school I spent 3 years serving in the USAF at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage AK. I've competed in, and won, demolition derbies. I've competed in, and never won, stock car races. I am the 47-year-old father of an 11-year-old boy who is pretty sure he is smarter than I ever was. We live on a little less than an acre of land in a 1973 mobile home in Stetson with my wife Jen, some cats, a few chickens, and rabbits, and a couple of goats. I hunt, fish, camp out, dabble in photography, gardening, and I cook in variable degrees of near success.