Mosquito swarms descend on Swedish region

July 10, 2009 at 12:24 PM
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OSTERFARNEBO, Sweden, July 10 (UPI) -- Residents of a rural district in eastern Sweden said pesticide rules adopted to protect nearby nature reserves have brought swarms of mosquitoes to their homes.

Locals in the Osterfarnebo district said the pesticide restrictions were put in place to protect nearby nature reserves from spraying, but the rules leave residents without an effective weapon to curb the insects' breeding, The Local reported Friday.

"It's hell. We have nearly lost hope," said Maria Brooks, whose family has owned a farm in the district since 1540.

"We just to sit inside and look at each other," she said.

Some residents blamed the mosquito trouble on a lack of communication between county authorities and the Swedish Chemicals Agency, which is charged with authorizing the use of pesticides and other chemicals.

"This is bureaucracy. If public servants just came here to see the problem first hand, they would understand us," said Ingrid Bergman, who lives in the equally infested nearby town of Ista.

Siv Ljungquist, head of department at the Swedish Chemicals Agency, said the organization recently sent an appeal to the federal government asking for a resolution in support of spraying the area.

"We couldn't anticipate that the problem would be so extreme," he said.

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