First positive West Nile Virus mosquito sample of 2019 collected in Springettsbury Township

YORK COUNTY, Pa.– Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Vector Management is reporting the first York County mosquito sample testing positive for West Nile Virus in 2019. A sample containing Culex restuans collected by the York County Mosquito Surveillance Program on July 29 in Springettsbury Township has tested positive. Additional mosquito surveillance, sampling and larval control is being performed as necessary by the Mosquito Surveillance Program and PA Department of Environmental Protection in Springettsbury Township.

We recommend residents be proactive by inspecting their yards and take a few minutes to clean up and reduce yard clutter. Residents may also purchase a variety of mosquito control and repellent products from most home and garden centers. Performing a community-wide cleanup is the only way to eliminate most mosquito concerns. Residents are urged to contact your local municipality to help promote cleaning up to reduce mosquito concerns and disease risk. Storm water management systems can sometimes contribute to mosquito issues and are also routinely monitored by the Mosquito Surveillance Program.

Mosquito surveillance in York County indicates that the most common mosquito species in residential areas come 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. Additional containers such as tires, buckets and tarps are preferred by mosquitoes because other predators found in nature, which 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.

May through October, mosquitoes can complete their life cycle within five to seven days. Residents should also use repellents when spending time outside. For individuals who don’t like to use repellents we recommend taking an electric fan outside with you.

Mosquitoes don’t like the wind and the fan will help keep them away. As a last resort, residents can purchase insecticides from garden centers and hardware stores to spray in their own yard but need to be sure to follow the label instructions.

York County residents may report mosquito concerns through the Pennsylvania West Nile Virus website westnile.state.pa.us. Doing so will better assist our program to document areas of concern. York County residents can also contact the York County Mosquito Surveillance Program by calling 717-840-2375 or email LMGraybill@yorkcountypa.gov. Keep in mind that the York County Mosquito Surveillance Program continues to educate residents about the importance of cleaning up. Individuals may need to report neighbor complaints to their local municipality to rectify the concern.

For information about West Nile Virus and Zika Virus symptoms in humans, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-Health.

SOURCE: York County Board of Commissioners

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