The Department of Environmental Protection announced Tuesday, August 30, that they will apply spray treatments on the evening of Thursday, September 1. The spraying will occur in portions of Straban, Tyrone and Butler townships, to control adult mosquito populations.
The treatments will be administered with truck-mounted equipment to spray open spaces in residential and recreational areas of the townships. The equipment will dispense Biomist 3 + 15, a permethrin insecticide product, at a rate of 0.75 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 may 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 contracting West Nile encephalitis.
Mosquito samples in 54 counties have been identified with the West Nile virus so far this year. [First probable case of human West Nile Disease reported for 2011]
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 bacterium kills mosquito larva, but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.
Additionally, these simple precautions can 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.
The public can contribute to controlling the spread of West Nile Virus in very simple, but highly effective ways. For further information on what you can do to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus, please visit the PA West Nile Virus Control Program’s website by clicking HERE or call the PA DOH at (887) 724-3258.
Source: DEP – South Central Regional Office
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