Local News

Woman Taking Vector Control to Court over Spraying

YUBA COUNTY–

Mosquitoes; they’re a sure sign of spring, just like extra hours of daylight and blossoming flowers.

No one wants them around, but one Plumas Lake woman says what one agency did to get rid of the buggers just wasn’t right.

“You can see my eye is really swollen … Lips, face all blotchy,” said Nicole Stricek

If you didn’t know better, looking at her photos, you might think Stricek had been in a fight.

But, that’s not what happened to her last August.

“So they’re passing me, shooting out toward the direction that I came so I had nowhere to go,” said Stricek.

Nowhere to go from the plume of pesticide she said was pumping out of a truck from the Sutter-Yuba Mosquito Vector Control District.

It happened as she wrapped up a run in a roundabout near her home.

“Thirty minutes after my eye swelled completely shut and my face was all scratch, and my other eye started swelling. (I) couldn’t breathe through my nose at all,” she said.

Two trips to the doctor and 11 days of swelling and itching that Stricek says evolved into bad migraines have led her to file  against the district in small claims court.

“No obstruction between where they were and where I was. So they saw me, they just didn’t stop,” she said.

Managers of the vector control district wouldn’t make any comments about this case because the pending litigation.

Stricek hopes to recoup $7,000 in her suit. And, she wants to make one thing clear.

“I don’t want them to stop spraying. That’s not my goal behind it. The goal behind it is just to make people aware,” Stricek said.

In the face of pending legal action, doctors FOX40 asked about Stricek’s reaction would only speak on deep background. They say the Pyrethrins in the mosquito spray could easily cause eye and skin irritations – but that they would only last a day or so.

They might last longer if a patient had wheat allergies. Stricek says the only thing she’s allergic to is penicillin.

Others in Stricek’s neighborhood have no doubt about the spray’s impact.

Dave, who didn’t want to give his last name, won’t walk his dog Lenny if the foggers are out. He won’t catch wild insects to feed his geckos either.

“Right after that truck passes by, I see all the grasshoppers and crickets walking around in the street unable to fly or hop and I know when they’re healthy, they can fly and hop,” he said.

It all means that, when others are watching the ball at youth league softball practice, Stricek will have her eye on what else is flying through the air.

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