PHILADELPHIA.–The Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Vector Control staff is planning to apply a larvicidal treatment for mosquito control early Wednesday morning, July 20, before dawn, in Kensington. See the map below for specific locations.
This spray is part of a state-funded program to reduce the number of mosquitoes in areas that have had West Nile Virus-positive mosquitoes in past years, as part of continued multi-layer mosquito control activities. Every mosquito season, Vector Control Services works to reduce the number of mosquito larvae by treating sewer inlets and encouraging residents to dump standing water, monitors for West Nile Virus-positive mosquitoes, and occasionally sprays to kill adult mosquitoes.
Video footage of the truck-mounted spraying done during daylight hours can be found on the Health Department’s YouTube channel.
Certain mosquito species carry West Nile virus, which, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile encephalitis, and infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. Individuals are urged to take personal protection precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent with an EPA registered active ingredient and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
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.
- Drain or dispose of discarded tires where mosquitoes breed.
- Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers.
- Have clogged roof gutters cleaned. Roof gutters can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.
- Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
- Turn over wheelbarrows.
- Don’t let water stagnate in birdbaths.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools. A swimming pool left untended by a family on vacation for a month can produce enough mosquitoes to result in a neighborhood-wide problem.
To prevent mosquito bites:
- Make sure screens fit tightly over doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of homes.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, or in areas known to have 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, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
Consult with a pediatrician or family physician about the use of repellent on children. (Repellent 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 www.westnile.state.pa.us. For questions on the West Nile Virus program or to report mosquito infestations in Philadelphia, call 215-685-9000.