Saturday, August 22, 2020

DEP Reports 8 More Counties With Mosquitoes Testing Positive For West Nile Virus

On August 21, the Department of Environmental Protection reported eight more counties had mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus-- Beaver, Centre, Chester, Clearfield, Lehigh, Luzerne, Union and York. Read more here.
This brings the total number of counties with positive mosquito results to 20.  
DEP previously reported Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Delaware, Fayette, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Potter with positive results.
On July 23, the departments of Health and Environmental Protection reported the first human case of West Nile Virus in 2020 in Potter County.  Read more here.
Although mosquitoes can bite at any time of the day or night, the mosquitoes that transmit WNV are most active at dawn and dusk.
When outdoors, people can avoid mosquito bites by properly and consistently using DEET-containing insect repellants and covering exposed skin with lightweight clothing. To keep mosquitoes from entering a home, make sure window and door screens are in place and are in good condition.
The Department of Environmental Protection conducts regular surveillance and control to manage mosquito populations around the state.
The mosquitoes that transmit WNV breed in areas with standing and stagnant water. These areas can include urban catch basins, clogged gutters, discarded tires, poorly maintained swimming pools, flower pots and other types of plastic containers.
Simple steps to eliminate standing water around the home include:
-- Remove tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, discarded tires or any object that could collect standing water. Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors.
-- Have roof gutters cleaned every year, particularly if the leaves from nearby trees have a tendency to clog the drains.
-- Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
-- Do not let water stagnate in birdbaths.
-- Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with fish.
-- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools and remove standing water from pool covers.
-- Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
-- Treat standing water that cannot be eliminated with Bti products, which are sold at outdoor supply, home improvement and other stores. Bti is a natural product that kills mosquito larvae, but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.
DEP will continue to survey affected communities to monitor mosquito activity and WNV.
DEP biologists have initiated a survey of the mosquito population to determine the risk for further human illness. If necessary, adult mosquito populations will be reduced. These efforts will continue through October.
Click Here for a West Nile Virus Fact Sheet from the Department of Health.
For more information, including current WNV test results for mosquitoes, birds and horses, visit DEP’s West Nile Virus website or call 1-877-PA HEALTH.
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[Posted: August 22, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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