Falmouth wants to regulate pesticide use when their expanded browntail spray program devastated the population of good-guy insectivores. One hundred percent of damselflies – bright little dragonfly-like creatures that used to float around our woods – are gone, regular dragonfly varieties are down by 80%. Our field used to be noisy with them.  Amphibians, wood frogs and toads that leaped out of the way are rare, the woods are dead, silent.

The result is clouds of mosquitoes. I warned Falmouth, having lived during the DDT applications in the mid-1950s in Concord, Sudbury River, and Nashoba Valley, Massachusetts. Everything died and the birds left. It took 30 years to recover.  That’s 30  years of mosquitoes so bad no one went outdoors; everything tasted like Off.

It’s like the mustard gas of WWI. Eventually, smarter heads prevailed when it back-drifted, injuring friend and foe. It can’t discriminate, so the decision was to ban.

I’ve been affected by itchy browntail and lived. Mosquito-borne illnesses are often fatal. Likewise, the spray program had zero effect on the blackflies; dog and deer tick populations are robust as ever, no-see-ums are worse, and, of course, the horse, deer and moose fly feast away.

Lucia Connelly