To spray or not to spray

Recently, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. And nobody has enjoyed it more than your friendly, local mosquito horde.

Until I moved to Omak, I’d never lived anywhere that mosquitoes have been more than a mild annoyance for a brief stretch of the year.

But the current debate gaining steam — whether the city of Omak and some of its outlying neighbors should reevaluate their decisions on mosquito abatement spraying — is making me think a lot more about the pests than I ever have before.

In a way, I’m almost surprised that people of this area aren’t more accustomed to the surge of bloodsuckers that surely sweeps through the county every year. The emails we’ve been receiving at the Chronicle would suggest otherwise.

It’s easy to say the cities need to step up and spray for mosquitoes. But where does that money come from?

I’ve been here long enough to know that new taxes and levies probably do not go over very well. At the same time, it seems obvious to me that doing nothing is just as sure to raise the ire of local residents.

Taxes and mosquitoes share one thing in common: One bite here or there is tolerable, but the feeling of being eaten alive is too much to withstand. To me — mostly an outsider — I could see the mosquitoes being enough of an issue that it would eventually be a driving factor to pack up and move somewhere else.

The great weather we’ve had recently in North-Central Washington is perfect for barbecues, golfing and all manner of outdoor activities, but the mosquito problem is sure to drive almost everybody indoors.

It sure makes it tough to attract visitors — or get local residents outside enjoying the area — when the mosquitoes are on a feeding frenzy.

Garrett Rudolph is the managing editor of The Chronicle.

He can be reached at 509-826-1110 or via email at


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