Mount Shasta Library decided to suspend its pesticide spraying program after hearing concerns from the public.

“We’re currently investigating alternatives to spraying pesticides,” library manager Courtney Laverty said during a Friends of the Library meeting Thursday, Nov. 12.

Patrons had approached library staff with concerns about the pesticides being sprayed on the library property to control a carpenter ant problem that’s causing damage to the building, Laverty said.

“I just looked into what we were doing. We do it every other month. There’s a specific protocol that’s followed by a certified, licensed, state-regulated company, Orkin,” Laverty explained.

An email from an anonymous concerned citizen regarding the application of a pesticide containing the ingredient Bifenthrin was sent to City Hall Oct. 24.

The anonymous citizen reported confronting an Orkin employee who was spraying pesticides at the library Oct. 8.

The citizen claimed the pesticide contained the ingredient Bifenthrin, an EPA-designated restricted use pesticide.

An email from Mount Shasta Public Works Director Rod Bryan confirms the three pesticides authorized for use at the library include: Mother Earth Granular Bait, Termidor SC, and Talstar.

Bifenthrin is listed as the active ingredient in Talstar insecticide.

The Talstar label warns that this pesticide can have neurotoxic effects from long-term exposure and specifies people and pets should not be allowed on treated surfaces until the application spray has dried.

The Talstar product label can be found at:

Laverty confirmed the last spray occurred at noon on Oct. 8.

She said at least one patron approached her with safer alternatives to pesticides that might reduce the carpenter ant problem. The library had used Borax in the past and is considering returning to that option.

“A person brought a concern to our attention. We addressed it and now we’re just waiting to see what the next step will be,” Laverty said.

Library news

In other news, the Friends of the Library is seeking a new board member after the resignation of Dennis Johnson during Thursday night’s meeting. Much discussion centered on whether Friends of the Library wants to resume management of the library when their two-year contract with the city expires July 1, 2016.

“I think we’ve done a spectacular job making improvements to the library and it would be a shame not to continue doing what we have been,” said board member Evelyn Callas.

“If you can make it work, the Friends is probably the organization to run it,” said Johnson.

They decided to hold off on deciding whether or not to pursue another contract until next month’s board meting.