With the Zika virus officially entering the United States, panic has ensued in the South. After Congress failed to pass a bill that would provide funding for combatting Zika, many states have taken the fight into their own hands. Following the standard procedure of preventative action, South Carolina began spraying insecticides by plane on Sunday August 28th. The chemical sprayed is called Naled and this is not the first time it has been sprayed in South Carolina, considering the state’s ongoing effort to combat West Nile Virus. However, that was the first time that the insecticide has been sprayed by plane, in order to spread it over a larger area. Though Naled poses no serious risk to human health, it can kill insects other than mosquitos. Beekeepers in Dorchester County, South Carolina found this out the hard way when they woke up to millions of dead bees on the morning of August 29th.
Never in recent memory have the bounds of human impact on the world felt so wide. At a time when researchers are finding cans of soda at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, and scientists are grappling with the possibility of creating human-animal “chimera” tissues for study, our ability to influence the world around us seems practically unparalleled. And when it comes to dealing with a public health crisis brought on by one of nature’s most annoying pests, it would seem that these limits may soon expand once again.