Thursday, July 3, 2008

West Nile Virus found in Chester County mosquitos - DEP recommendations

As we head outdoors for 4th of July festivities, please be aware that West Nile Virus has been found in mosquitos in Chester and other Pennsylvania counties.

Please take the time to read the recommendations to eliminate mosquito breeding areas and for the prevention of bites.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!



Dept. of Environmental Protection
Southeast Regional Office
2 E. Main Street
Norristown, PA 19401-4915

CONTACT: Dennis Harney
Phone: (484) 250-5919



NORRISTOWN – Weather permitting, the Department of Environmental Protection and West Nile staff in Chester County will apply treatments the evening of Thursday, June 26, in Downingtown and West Chester public parks to control adult mosquito populations.

Samples taken by local officials and DEP in these areas have shown adult mosquito populations that can carry the West Nile virus.

The treatment will be administered during the evening hours with ATV-mounted equipment to spray Kerr Park and Kardon Park in Downingtown, and Everhart Park in West Chester. The equipment dispenses Biomist 3 + 15, a permethrin insecticide product, at a rate of 0.75 ounces per acre.

Certain mosquito species carry the 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 in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of getting West Nile encephalitis.

There have been no confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Pennsylvania this year.

Individuals can take a number of measures around the home to help eliminate mosquito-breeding areas, including:

• 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 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. Both provide breeding habitats for domestic mosquitoes.

• Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens can become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate.

• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools not in use. A swimming pool left untended by a family on vacation 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 and other stores. This naturally occurring bacteria kills mosquito larva 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 screen 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, go to


# # #


NDempsey said...

Mrs Johns,
Thank you for posting this as it is very important and you provide wonderful information to the communnity.

God Bless.

Nancy Dempsey

Anonymous said...

I read that Listerine in a spray bottle is a good mosquito repellent. I bought the amber colored Listerine and poured it into a spray bottle. So far it is working for me. Worth a try!

Karen said...

You are welcome, Nancy.

If everyone would do their part to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds we may be able to stave off the advance of WNV.

Karen said...

Thanks for that tip, Anonymous.

I haven't heard of using Listerine.

I am willing to try just about anything to keep those nasty critters away.