Here’s how you can help the victims of Hurricane Michael

Officials will spray to control mosquito populations in parts of Adams County July 16

When Zika virus made headlines because of its link with the neurological disorder microcephaly, it became the latest in a growing list of mosquito-borne viruses for Americans to worry about.

ADAMS COUNTY — Workers in Adams County will be spraying to control mosquito populations in parts of  Littlestown Borough and Union Township on Monday, July 16, the Adams County Conservation District announced Thursday.

The spraying will be an ultra-low volume mosquito control operation, officials say. It will be administered via truck-mounted equipment.

The operation is being done in part to prevent the spread of the West Nile virus, which some mosquitoes carry. The virus can cause humans to contract West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain.

West Nile virus has been detected in several counties across the state, including Adams County.

In the event of rain or other incompatible weather conditions, Tuesday, July 17 has been designated as the alternate spraying date, officials say.

Individuals can take a number of precautionary measures around their homes to help eliminate mosquito-breeding areas, including:

  • Dispose of cans, buckets, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers that hold water.
  • Properly dispose of discarded tires that can collect water. Stagnant water is where most mosquitoes breed.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers.
  • Have clogged roof gutters cleaned every year as the 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 not in use and remove any water that may collect on pool covers. If a resident has stagnant pools of water on their property, they can buy BTI products at lawn and garden, outdoor supply, home improvement and other stores. This naturally occurring bacterium kills mosquito larvae, but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.

Additionally, these simple precautions can prevent mosquito bites, particularly for people who are most at risk:

  • Make sure screens fit tightly over doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of homes.
  • Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, or in areas known for having 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, picardin or lemon eucalyptus oil. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician for questions about the use of repellent on children, as repellent is not recommended for children under the age of two months.