DEP Will Spray for Mosquitoes in Easton
DEP announces spraying Wednesday, Thursday nights in Easton, Palmer/Forks for West Nile Virus.
The Department of Environmental Protection will spray for mosquitoes to contain the West Nile Virus on Wednesday and Thursday in Easton and other parts of Northampton County.
According to a DEP press release, treatments will be applied during the evening on those two days in Easton, Palmer and Forks Townships, as well as the city of Bethlehem and Hanover and Bethlehem townships.
The spraying will begin at 10 p.m. and last for approximately two hours, the DEP said.
In the event of rain, it will be rescheduled to Tuesday, Aug. 14, and Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the same time.
Two mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile Virus in Easton recently along with a bird in Palmer Township.
The treatments will be administered by truck-mounted equipment to spray open spaces in residential and recreational areas. The equipment dispenses Biomist 3+15 at a rate of .75 ounces per acre.
This product is designed to provide quick, effective control of adult mosquito populations. The application material has a very low toxicity profile to mammals and is safe for the environment.
Certain mosquito species carry the West Nile virus, which can cause humans to contract West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all residents in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of contracting West Nile encephalitis.
Mosquito samples in 42 counties have been identified with the West Nile virus so far this year. Human cases have been confirmed in Franklin and Lancaster counties.
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, particularly if 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 residents have 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 repellants according to the manufacturer’s instructions. An effective repellant will contain DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician for questions about the use of repellant on children, as repellant is not recommended for children under the age of 2 months.
For more information about West Nile virus and the state’s surveillance and control program, visit www.westnile.state.pa.us .