On Tuesday, Leslie Knapp submitted written testimony in support of HB 1353 Agriculture – Nuisance Insects.
This bill would establish a program within the Maryland Department of Agriculture that would be used to control nuisance insects, replacing an existing black fly control program.
From the MACo Testimony:
The program establishes a Nuisance Insect Fund (with a proposed $400,000 in funding in the FY 2020 budget). The Fund may be used to cover the direct and indirect costs of eliminating nuisance insects. A local government would have to provide a 50 percent match if it wanted MDA to conduct a control project within its jurisdiction.
While not directly affecting human, animal, or plant health, nuisance insects pose quality of life issues and potentially diminish tourism and recreation revenues. While there are many control programs for pests that are harmful to humans, agriculture, or the environment, there is no such program for nuisance insects beyond black flies. Having an option to treat all types of nuisance insects makes sense.
HB 1353 would create a comprehensive control program to address nuisance insects in a reasonable and sustainable way. The program does not impose a local government mandate as participation in the program is up to the local government.
For more on 2019 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.