West Nile Virus :: Mosquito spraying in Bucks county designed to control threat of West Nile virus

Weather conditions permitting, spraying to control adult mosquito populations will be conducted during the evening hours on Tuesday, Aug. 14, in Bristol and Bensalem townships, Bucks County.

Samples taken by the Department of Environmental Protection in the area have shown mosquito populations that test positive for the West Nile virus.

DEP, in cooperation with the Bucks County Health Department and Clarke Mosquito Control, will use truck- and ATV-mounted, ultra-low volume spraying equipment to apply Biomist 3+15 and Anvil 10+10, both pyrethrin products, for the treatment. The insecticides are applied in concentrations significantly below what someone would use spraying a commercial insect control product in their home.

Certain species of mosquitoes carry West Nile virus, which, when transmitted to people, can cause 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 of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of getting West Nile encephalitis.

There has been one confirmed human case of West Nile virus in Pennsylvania this year.

There are things every individual can do around the home to help eliminate mosquito-breeding areas. Some of these tips include:

? Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have collected on your property.

? Pay attention to discarded tires. Stagnant water in tires 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. Roof gutters can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.

? Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use. Stagnant water in a wading pool becomes a place for mosquitoes to breed.

? 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. A swimming pool left untended for a month can produce enough mosquitoes to result in neighborhood-wide complaints. Mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on pool covers.

? For stagnant pools of water, homeowners can buy Bti products at lawn and garden, outdoor supply, home improvement centers and other stores. This naturally occurring bacteria kills mosquito larvae, but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.

In addition, here are some 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 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 oil of lemon eucalyptus. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician if you have questions about the use of repellent on children, as repellent is not recommended for children under the age of two months.

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