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Mosquito spraying in Franklin County today

June 19, 2007

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Spraying to control adult mosquito populations will be conducted tonight (Tuesday) in Quincy Township and Mont Alto Borough, Pa., weather permitting, according to a Pennsylvania Department of Health press release.

Samples taken from these areas by the Franklin County Penn State Cooperative Extension and the Department of Environmental Protection have shown mosquito populations that can carry the West Nile virus, according to the release.

The insecticide -- Biomist 3+15, a pyrethrin product -- is applied in concentrations significantly below what someone would use spraying a commercial insect control product in their home, according to the release.

Certain species of mosquitoes carry West Nile virus, which, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain.

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There have been no confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Pennsylvania this year.

There are things every individual can do around the home to help eliminate mosquito-breeding areas, such as areas where there is stagnant water. Some of these tips include:

Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have collected on your property.

Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors.

Have clogged roof gutters cleaned every year, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the 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.

There are also precautions to 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 during peak mosquito periods.

Use insect repellents according to the manufacturer's instructions.

More information on West Nile virus and the state's surveillance and control program is available at www.westnile.state.pa.us

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