2009-08-20 / Local & State

West Nile Virus Found In County

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

The Fulton County Conservation District, through a contract with the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), performs West Nile virus surveillance in Fulton County. The Conservation District monitors and collects mosquito larvae, and traps adult mosquitoes at sites throughout the county. Recently, the DEP vector control laboratory reported that one of the traps set at a site in the Knobsville area contained mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile virus.

The Conservation District urges all homeowners to be vigilant regarding mosquito breeding sites. While many people think that wetlands, ponds and other natural water systems are the main problem, this is not what mosquito surveillance shows. The majority of the mosquito breeding sites in Fulton County tend to be "artificial containers" - things like tires, tarps, buckets, toys, birdbaths, cans, wheelbarrows, wading pools, etc. - anything that will hold water for several days. At this time of year, it only takes a few days for mosquitoes to go from egg to adult and each mosquito can lay more than 100 eggs at a time. The best way to control mosquitoes is to get rid of standing water on your property. To reduce the threat of mosquitoes spreading West Nile virus, minimize standing water on your property, clean out birdbaths and wading pools often, recycle old tires or at least put them under cover, clean out gutters, and fill in ruts where water sits for several days.

If you have any concerns or questions about West Nile virus surveillance, want more information on how to reduce breeding sites on your property, or want to report nuisance mosquito activity, please contact Greg Reineke at the Fulton County Conservation District at 717-485-3547, x120.

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