York County West Nile Virus Program is starting county-wide mosquito surveillance for the 2013 season. During the 2012 season adult mosquito trapping in York County collected over 112,000 and included 27 different species. This is the highest number of mosquitoes ever collected in a season in York County. In 2012, York County also had the highest number of samples testing positive in Pennsylvania for the detection of West Nile Virus in mosquito populations. York County also ranked third in the nation for detection of West Nile Virus in mosquito populations. The most common sources of high mosquito populations in urban areas continue to be from trash and yard clutter. Residents, businesses and municipalities can greatly reduce mosquito concerns and health risk by cleaning up their own property and local community.
Twelve years of surveillance in York County indicates that the most common mosquito species in residential areas; the House Mosquito (Culex spp.) and the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus); are produced primarily from artificial containers left behind by humans. Artificial containers can be something small like a bottle cap to sometimes as large as a swimming pool with shallow water. Additional containers such as tires, buckets, tarps and roadside trash are preferred by mosquitoes because other predators found in nature that would prey on mosquito larvae are not present. During periods of drought these containers continue to hold water and produce mosquitoes. One bucket or tire in someone’s backyard can produce hundreds to thousands of mosquitoes in a year.
We also want to remind residents, municipalities and police departments that mosquito traps are not to be confused for explosive devises. Traps are routinely placed throughout York County from April through October to monitor mosquito populations. Traps are labeled with contact information. A flyer is attached with images showing what mosquito traps look like.
New this year, York County residents are being asked to 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.
For information about West Nile Virus symptoms in humans, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-Health.