Friday, June 21, 2019

June 24 Mosquito Spraying In Westmoreland County To Help Control West Nile Virus

On June 21, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it will conduct a mosquito control operation to decrease populations of mosquitoes and reduce the risk of West Nile virus transmission on Monday, June 24 in Scottdale Borough and East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County.
Truck-mounted, Ultra Low Volume (ULV) spray equipment will be utilized to spray DeltaGard, a reduced-risk pesticide product registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), applied at a rate of 0.66 oz/acre.
The active ingredient in DeltaGard is Deltamethrin. DeltaGard does not contain Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) or any other synergists. This product is diluted with water and designed to provide quick knockdown and effective control of adult mosquitoes.
After collecting adult mosquito traps while investigating residential complaints, DEP’s Southwest Regional Office and the Westmoreland Conservation District determined that adult mosquito population thresholds were met and control is warranted to assist in reducing the mosquito populations in these areas.  
The control work will begin late in the evening, between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and the route boundaries will focus on the area of Mt. Pleasant Road in Scottdale Borough, and the area of Bessemer Street, Mildred Street, Lou Street, Fayette Street, Fayette Avenue, and Webster Street in East Huntingdon Township.
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 Pennsylvania Department of Health, all residents in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of contracting West Nile encephalitis.
Precautions Around The Home
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 as 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 (short for Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis) products at lawn and garden, outdoor supply, home improvement and other stores.
This naturally occurring bacterium kills mosquito larvae, but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.
Precautions For People
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, picardin, 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 on this program, visit DEP’s West Nile Virus Control Program website.
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