Officials from the Department Environmental Protection and Allegheny County reminded residents of simple steps they can take to control mosquitoes in their own yards ? an important effort in combating the spread of the West Nile virus.
?DEP and county coordinators are working to keep the mosquitoes under control, but residents can also play a big role in controlling the population of these insects,? said Environmental Protection Regional Director Kenneth Bowman.
?Remember: dump it if it has water in it; drain it if it can be drained; and treat it if it has standing water. These are easy measures that everyone can take in their own back yards to help protect themselves and their family from the West Nile virus.?
Bowman provided the following tips to eliminate mosquito-breeding sites around the home:
? Identify and eliminate all sources of standing water that collects on your property. Mosquitoes will breed in any puddle that lasts for more than four days.
? Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water holding containers that have collected on your property. Do not overlook containers that have become overgrown by aquatic vegetation.
? Pay special attention to discarded tires that may have collected water on your property. They can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
? Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left out of doors. Drainage holes that are located on the container sides collect enough water for mosquitoes to breed in.
? Have clogged roof gutters cleaned on an annual basis, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to block drains.
? Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use. A wading pool becomes a place or mosquitoes to breed if it is not used on a regular basis.
? Turn over wheelbarrows and do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths.
? Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens are fashionable but become major mosquito breeding grounds if they are allowed to stagnate.
? Keep swimming pools clean and chlorinated. A swimming pool that is left untended for a month becomes a source of mosquito breeding. Be aware that mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.
DEP has used the experience and knowledge gained over the last seven years of fighting the West Nile virus to develop strategies that efficiently target resources to maximize impact. For the last several weeks, DEP has worked with counties to conduct aggressive mosquito surveillance and, when needed, implement control activities.
DEP and county West Nile coordinators monitor the type, location and population of immature (larvae and pupae) and adult mosquitoes. This information is then used to treat those areas with high populations of mosquitoes that are known West Nile carriers.
Pennsylvania?s aggressive approach has contributed to a drop in the number of human cases of West Nile virus. The virus, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile fever and encephalitis, an infection that can cause an inflammation of the brain.
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Sub-editorWest Nile Virus :: Simple measures help prevent spread of West Nile Virus & mosquitoes
by Sub-editor ( Author at Spirit India )
Posted on July 24th, 2007 at 11:15 pm.
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