April 18, 2018
CONTACT: Thomas Smith TLS35@psu.edu
Penn State Extension – York County
West Nile Virus Program Administrator
Mosquito Surveillance Starting in York County, Pennsylvania for 2018
Penn State Extension – York County West Nile Virus Program will start performing county-wide mosquito surveillance the week of April 22nd for the 2018 season. During the 2017 season mosquito, trapping in York County collected over 151,000 adult mosquitoes and included 26 different species. In 2017, York County ranked second in Pennsylvania for detection of West Nile virus with 298 mosquito samples testing positive.
The York County West Nile Virus Program performs mosquito surveillance and response in accordance with CDC and PA Department of Environmental Protection procedures and recommendations to reduce the risk of West Nile Virus, Zika Virus and other potential mosquito vector diseases. The most common sources of high mosquito populations in residential areas continue to be human made sources from something as large as an unmaintained swimming pool to yard clutter (tires, tarps, garden equipment) and illegal dumping, trash and litter. Residents, farmers, businesses, municipalities and school districts can greatly reduce mosquito concerns and related human health risk by cleaning up their own property and supporting local community cleanups. We recommend participating in the 2018 Great American Cleanup of PA (www.gacofpa.org ) going on now through May 31st.
Take time to learn all you can about preventing mosquitoes and reducing your family’s risk to related diseases! Learn more about reducing mosquito concerns by visiting your local York County Public Library (www.yorklibraries.org). The York County Libraries have informative educational literature available related to mosquito and tick concerns. Once you are at the Library, be sure to check out some of the books about mosquitoes and related diseases. For the adult reader we recommend “The American Plague” by Molly Caldwell Crosby. For fifth grade students, “Fever 1793” by Laurie Halse Anderson, is recommended since it may be required reading in school. If you have young children at home, “Mosquito Bite” by Alexandra Siy & Dennis Kunkel, is the ideal book to read. These books and many more tell the history of mosquitoes in America, mosquito biology, disease transmission and prevention.
York County residents can report mosquito concerns through the Pennsylvania West Nile Virus website www.westnile.state.pa.us . Doing so will better assist our program to document areas of concern and protect public health. Your local municipality is responsible for addressing property maintenance issues and approves stormwater management systems. Public school districts should be practicing and teaching Integrated Pest Management (IPM), an approach to pest control that focuses on pest prevention by eliminating the root causes of pest problems. Everyone has a responsibility to help prevent and eliminate mosquito concerns!
For information about West Nile Virus and Zika Virus symptoms in humans, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-Health.
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