Reducing Mosquito Population Reduces West Nile Virus Risk | The Valley Register

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Lamont McClure and the Northampton County Vector Control Program remind residents that summer is the prime season for mosquito breeding and that mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus (WNV), Zika, and mosquitoes. other illnesses.

WNV was first detected in the United States in 1999 and affects birds, humans, horses and other mammals. There were nationwide outbreaks of the virus in 2003 and 2012, and key months for WNV transmission are August through October. In humans, 80% of cases are asymptomatic and 20% involve non-neuroinvasive disease. Less than 1% of cases result in conditions such as encephalitis which can lead to paralysis and even death.

“Northampton County takes its commitment to public health very seriously,” says County Executive Lamont McClure. “West Nile can be a very dangerous disease and it is important that we prevent its transmission to humans by limiting mosquito breeding opportunities.”

Successful mosquito population control requires community effort. Homeowners must drain any source of standing water on their property, including turning over buckets and pools and discarding unnecessary items and trash. Toys, pots, cans, swings, and clogged gutters make excellent mosquito breeding habitats. Mosquitoes can breed in a space as small as a soda bottle cap.

In early spring, field technicians from the county’s vector control program treat woodland ponds and old WNV-positive breeding habitats. Larviciding agents generally do not harm non-target insects that may be present in the treated area.

Mosquito traps are placed throughout the county in areas near standing water. They are emptied daily and sent for testing. Sometimes someone finds one of the mosquito traps. If so, we ask that he is not disturbed so that our staff can continue to do their very important work. Traps are labeled: Do Not Disturb, Pa Dept. of Environmental Protection, Northampton County Vector Borne Disease Control Program, Mosquito Trap.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) tests mosquitoes for the presence of WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases from May through October. Early control efforts focus on reducing mosquito breeding habitat. Spraying does not occur until a sufficiently high percentage of positive mosquitoes indicates a threat to humans.

Residents concerned about large numbers of mosquitoes in their area can call 610-829-6424 or 610-391-9583 ext. 2995 for more information.

Information provided to TVL by:
Becky Bartlet
Deputy Director of Administration
Northampton County Government Center
669 Washington Street
Easton, PA 18042