The following press release has been provided by the Pennsylvania West Nile Control Program.
The Department of Environmental Protection will apply ultra low volume adulticide spray treatments the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 4, in portions of Marple and Haverford townships, in Delaware County, to control adult mosquito populations. In the event of rain, the spraying will be rescheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 5. Spraying will begin around 7:30 p.m. and end around 10 p.m.
The treatments will be administered by truck-mounted equipment to spray open spaces in residential and recreational areas. The equipment dispenses Biomist 3+15 at a rate of .75 ounces per acre.
These products are designed to provide quick, effective control of adult mosquito populations. The application materials have a very low toxicity profile to mammals and are safe for the environment.
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 contracting West Nile encephalitis.
Mosquito samples in 47 counties have been identified with the West Nile virus so far this year. In early August, both Marple and Newtown townships had been detected with the West Nile virus in mosquito samples. A mosquito spraying occurred in Newtown on Aug. 29.
Human cases have been confirmed in Bucks, Centre, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh and Philadelphia counties. As of Aug. 30, two Delaware County residents were hospitalized and another resident was contracted with West Nile.
Individuals can take a number of precautionary measures around their homes to help eliminate mosquito-breeding areas, including:
• Dispose of cans, buckets, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers that hold water.
• 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.
• Have clogged roof gutters cleaned every year, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency 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.
If a resident has stagnant pools of water on their property, they 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 repellents according to the manufacturer’s instructions. An effective repellent will contain DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician for questions about the use of repellent on children, as repellent 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.