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Photo by Mark Garrett

By Juliet Blalack

Mosquito control is hardly controversial, right? The last way you want to spend your hard-earned vacation is swatting away mosquitoes and then scratching away at the bites. So it hardly seems tragic when the resort starts spraying the bloodsuckers.

However, the way that most resorts combat mosquitoes has some alarming implications for the environment. In the case of coastal areas, many mosquito pesticides can kill fish even when diluted down to one part per million. The spray washes out into oceans and coral alcoves. These chemicals are neurotoxins that can harm people, and spraying them into the air (called “fogging”) has an immediate effect on air quality.

“When they fog they have a special machine that generates a fine mist, like a smoke with diesel fuel and pesticides combined. You feel like you can’t breathe, it’s a really awful experience,” says Trudy Collins, an environmentally friendly mosquito control consultant.

Seem like a dilemma? That’s exactly where Trudy Collins comes in. This UC Berkeley-educated global citizen has made it her mission to help resorts and the communities around them solve mosquito problems safely, effectively, and inexpensively.

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