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County Supervisors to Address Gnat Infestations in Escondido and Jacumba

County supervisors Pam Slater-Price and Dianne Jacob are looking to adopt a new strategy in dealing with eye gnat infestations in Jacumba and Escondido. They say residents have had to endure the pesky flies long enough.

Swarms of "eye gnats" have bugged residents for years. Three years ago, residents of Jacumba began to complain about gnats. Shortly after, the county began to receive complaints from other areas. In response, the county hired Jim Bethke, an entomologist from UC Cooperative Extension, to look into the complaints. Bethke and his group discovered that many of the gnats were using Bornt Farms as a breeding ground before flying off to residential areas. Later Bethke identified another breeding ground on the Be Wise Ranch in the San Pasqual Valley.

Bethke devised traps. The traps have worked to some degree, but not enough for nearby residents.

Armed with new complaints, supervisors Slater-Price and Jacob are considering different options. On Tuesday, board members will direct staff to work with the Farm Bureau to find solutions.

"A tougher strategy is needed to address this issue with the goal of reducing the eye gnats to an acceptable level to lessen adverse impacts on residents," reads a recommendation brought forward by Supervisors Pam Slater-Price and Diane Jacob.

Local farmers, however, worry that the new strategy could possibly mean pesticides being sprayed on their farms. Doing so, may not only chase the eye gnats out of town but could potentially run them out of business for good.

"...In recent months Be Wise Ranch has become the main target for a small group of homeowners," reads a message from Be Wise farmer Bill Brammer to members of the ranch. "This group of homeowners have enlisted the assistance of some of the members of the County Board of Supervisors, to be more specific Pam Slater Price & Diane [Jacob] and have asked them to support them in any way possible to force a shut down of Be Wise Organic Ranch and organic farming in San Diego County as a whole..."

"We need everyone’s help to stop this railroading of our farm."

County supervisors will hear the item during a November 9 meeting.

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County supervisors Pam Slater-Price and Dianne Jacob are looking to adopt a new strategy in dealing with eye gnat infestations in Jacumba and Escondido. They say residents have had to endure the pesky flies long enough.

Swarms of "eye gnats" have bugged residents for years. Three years ago, residents of Jacumba began to complain about gnats. Shortly after, the county began to receive complaints from other areas. In response, the county hired Jim Bethke, an entomologist from UC Cooperative Extension, to look into the complaints. Bethke and his group discovered that many of the gnats were using Bornt Farms as a breeding ground before flying off to residential areas. Later Bethke identified another breeding ground on the Be Wise Ranch in the San Pasqual Valley.

Bethke devised traps. The traps have worked to some degree, but not enough for nearby residents.

Armed with new complaints, supervisors Slater-Price and Jacob are considering different options. On Tuesday, board members will direct staff to work with the Farm Bureau to find solutions.

"A tougher strategy is needed to address this issue with the goal of reducing the eye gnats to an acceptable level to lessen adverse impacts on residents," reads a recommendation brought forward by Supervisors Pam Slater-Price and Diane Jacob.

Local farmers, however, worry that the new strategy could possibly mean pesticides being sprayed on their farms. Doing so, may not only chase the eye gnats out of town but could potentially run them out of business for good.

"...In recent months Be Wise Ranch has become the main target for a small group of homeowners," reads a message from Be Wise farmer Bill Brammer to members of the ranch. "This group of homeowners have enlisted the assistance of some of the members of the County Board of Supervisors, to be more specific Pam Slater Price & Diane [Jacob] and have asked them to support them in any way possible to force a shut down of Be Wise Organic Ranch and organic farming in San Diego County as a whole..."

"We need everyone’s help to stop this railroading of our farm."

County supervisors will hear the item during a November 9 meeting.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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