TAKE ACTION NOW TO REDUCE MOSQUITO-BREEDING AREAS IN SPRING:
Acting DEP Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty this week urged Pennsylvania homeowners to make some sense preparations to reduce mosquito-breeding areas on their properties once warm weather arrives.
“Pennsylvania’s battle against the West Nile Virus begins now, in backyards across the Commonwealth,” said Acting Secretary McGinty. “In just a few weeks, DEP and county personnel will be in the field, setting up traps and beginning our mosquito surveillance and control program. But, residents can fire the first shot in this battle now”.
As winter turns to spring, homeowners should look around their properties and eliminate areas that could lead to standing water where mosquitoes could begin breeding in just a few weeks.
Here are some places you should check:
– Swimming pool covers – The cover gathers small puddles of water, which are perfect for mosquito breeding. Either set your pool cover so it will not retain water, or remove the water every few days. You should do this for any other tarps or covers you have in your yard.
– Rain gutters and spouting – When the leaves fell last autumn, many of them landed in the gutters and spouting on your house. These leaves will create shallow pools when it rains, so clean out gutters and spouting before the spring rains come.
– Flower Pots – Outdoor flowerpots or other containers used for gardening or other yard work fills with water and give mosquitoes a great place to breed. Either take these containers inside or make sure you dump the water every few days.
– Old tires – These are notorious as mosquito breeding grounds. If you are keeping any old tires around, put them in a garage or shed, if possible. If not, dump the water that gathers in them twice a week.
– Rake leaves from low-lying areas in your yard. Just like in gutters and spouting, small piles of leaves in low spots will collect and hold just the right amount of water for mosquitoes to hatch.
“While these tips are for individual homeowners, local governments and other public landowners should follow them, too,” Acting Secretary McGinty said, “Public building have spouting needs to be cleaned, public pools have covers that need to be drained, tire piles on public land should be removed and leaves should be raked from parks and other public lands”.
“This year Pennsylvania will again have an aggressive and pro-active West Nile mosquito surveillance and control program. While we had our share of the virus last year, this active program contained the outbreak more effectively in Pennsylvania than in most other states,” Acting Secretary McGinty said.
For more information, visit the PA PowerPort at www.state.pa.us – PA Keyword “west nile”
March 7, 2003
The Department of Environmental Protection
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