The Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Agency is implementing a series of pesticide sprays aimed at reducing the number of mosquitoes in Crawford County and reducing the risk of West Nile virus infection.
The spray was scheduled for Thursday in the Cambridge Township and the Cambridge Springs Autonomous Region. Additional sprays will take place today in the Cochraneton Autonomous Region and on Monday in the towns of West Mead and East Fairfield. Work is done every night from 7:30 to 10:30.
DEP uses a truck mounter’s ultra-small sprayer to spray DeltaGard, a low-risk pesticide product registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency. The spray is applied at a rate of 0.66 ounces per acre.
The active ingredient in DeltaGard is Deltamethrin, which is free of piperonyl butoxide and other synergies. According to the agency, this product is diluted with water and designed to “quickly knock down adult mosquitoes and effectively control them.”
The DEP’s Northwestern Krai office has determined that the adult mosquito population has reached a threshold that requires spraying after collecting adult mosquito traps. Spraying is necessary to reduce the number of mosquitoes in the area where spraying is planned.
The root boundary of the spray focuses on the following areas:
• West Mead Township in the area between US Route 322, Williamson Road, Lamont Drive and Stauffer Road.
• East Fairfield Township along Powell Lane and Gravel Pit Road.
• Coclanton Autonomous Region (all streets).
Certain mosquito species carry the West Nile virus, which can cause West Nile encephalitis in humans. This is an infection that can cause inflammation of the brain. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, all residents of areas with confirmed viral activity are at risk of developing West Nile encephalitis.
You can take precautions around your home to eliminate the following mosquito breeding grounds:
• Disposal of cans, buckets, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or similar containers that hold water.
• Dispose of tires that may collect water properly. Stagnant water is where most mosquitoes breed.
• Make a hole in the bottom of the outdoor recycling container.
• Clean the clogged gutters annually as the leaves of the surrounding trees can block the drains.
• Turn the plastic water pool over when not in use.
• Turn the wheelbarrow over to keep the water from stagnation on the bird bath.
• Ventilate the ornamental pool or stock fish.
• Clean and chlorinate the pool when not in use to remove any water that may collect on the pool cover.
If there are stagnant puddles in the property of the resident, they can be cleaned using the Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis (Bti) product. Bti is a natural bacterium that kills mosquito larvae, but according to DEP, it is safe for humans, pets, aquatic animals, and plans.
Other precautions to reduce the risk of mosquito bites, especially those at highest risk, include:
• Make sure the screen fits snugly on the door or window.
• Wear long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, and socks outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
• Reduces outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk, usually during peak mosquitoes from April to October.
• Use of insect repellent. Effective repellents include DEET, picaridin, or lemon eucalyptus oil. Repellents are not recommended for children under 2 months.
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