HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection will apply treatments the evenings of Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 14 and 15, in residential and recreational areas of Exeter, West Pittston, Wyoming, West Wyoming, Forty Fort, Edwardsville, Plymouth Township, Plains Township, Wilkes-Barre, Nanticoke and Jenkins, Luzerne County, to control adult mosquito populations. In the event of rain, the spraying will be rescheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 19 and 20.
High populations of adult mosquitoes capable of transmitting the West Nile virus have been detected near this area of the county.
The treatments will be administered with truck-mounted equipment to spray open spaces in residential areas. The equipment dispenses Biomist 3+15 at a rate of 1.25 ounces per acre. This product is designed to provide quick, effective control of adult mosquito populations. The application material has a very low toxicity profile to mammals and is 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 55 counties have been identified with the West Nile virus so far this year, and three human cases have been confirmed.
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.
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.
For more information about West Nile virus and the state's surveillance and control program, visit www.westnile.state.pa.us.
Media contact: Kevin Sunday, 717-787-1323
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Northeast Regional Office