NORRISTOWN -- Weather permitting, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Delaware County Intercommunity Health Coordination will apply treatments the evening of Wednesday, July 21, in portions of Upper Chichester and Lower Chichester townships to control adult mosquito populations. The rain date for this application is Thursday, July 22.
Adult mosquitoes in these areas have tested positive for the West Nile virus. The treatments will be administered during the evening hours with truck and ATV-mounted equipment to spray open spaces in residential and recreational areas. The equipment dispenses Biomist 3 15, a permethrin insecticide product, at a rate of .75 ounces per acre. This product is designed to provide quick, effective control of adult mosquito populations.
Certain mosquito species carry the West Nile virus, which can cause humans to contract West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all residents in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of getting West Nile encephalitis.
To date, 31 mosquito samples have been identified with the West Nile virus in Delaware County this year. There have been no confirmed human cases in Pennsylvania this year.
Individuals can take a number of measures around the home to help eliminate mosquito-breeding areas, including:
• Dispose of cans, buckets, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers that hold water on your property.
• Properly dispose of discarded tires that can collect water. Stagnant water is where most mosquitoes breed.
• Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers.
• Clean clogged roof gutters every year, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees tend to plug drains.
• Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
• Turn over wheelbarrows and don’t let water stagnate in birdbaths.
• Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools not in use and remove any water that may collect on pool covers.
For stagnant pools of water, homeowners can buy Bti products at lawn and garden, outdoor supply, home improvement and other stores. This naturally occurring bacteria kills mosquito larva, but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants. In addition, there are a few simple precautions to prevent mosquito bites, particularly for people who are most at risk:
• Make sure screens fit tightly over doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of homes.
• Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, or in areas known for having large numbers of mosquitoes.
• When possible, reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk during peak mosquito periods, usually April through October.
• Use insect repellants according to the manufacturer’s instructions. An effective repellant will contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician if you have questions about the use of repellant on children, as repellant is not recommended for children under the age of two months.
For more information about West Nile virus and the state’s surveillance and control program, visit www.westnile.state.pa.us.
For more information regarding products used in Pennsylvania to control adult mosquitoes, visit www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/mosquitoes/pyrethroids4mosquitoes.htm#pyrethroids.
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