This is the first positive mosquito sample identified in Chester County for the 2014 season. The mosquito traps are placed in various locations in the County as part of routine surveillance by Health Department officials. The Health Department will continue to monitor these areas as well as surrounding areas and will consider control activities when appropriate.
The chance of contracting WNV from an infected mosquito is small and chances of becoming seriously ill are even smaller, however, the Health Department recommends that individuals take personal precautions to minimize the possibility of being bitten by infected mosquitoes. This includes staying indoors at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active, wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants when outside and using insect repellents when mosquitoes are active. The heightened concern will probably remain until the first frost which usually occurs in mid-October.
Residents are encouraged to take the following precautions to reduce mosquito breeding on their property:
• Dispose of open containers that may collect water, such as tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, etc.
• Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers so that water will not collect.
• Keep your property clear of old tires.
• Clean roof gutters, particularly if leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug drains.
• Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
• Turn over wheelbarrows and don’t let water stagnate in birdbaths. Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools when not in use. A swimming pool left untended by a family on vacation for a month can produce enough mosquitoes to result in neighborhood-wide complaints. Mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on pool covers.
• For stagnant pools of water that cannot be removed or drained, homeowners can buy Bti products such as mosquito dunks at lawn/garden, outdoor supply, home improvement and other stores. This naturally occurring bacterial product kills mosquito larvae but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.
For more information on West Nile Virus, visit our website at www.chesco.org/wnv or call 610-344-6752.