Meadville, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will conduct a mosquito control operation to decrease populations of mosquitoes and reduce the risk of West Nile virus transmission on Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Cambridge Township and Cambridge Springs Borough and on Monday August 2, 2021, in the townships of West Mead and East Fairfield and the Borough of Cochranton.
Truck-mounted, Ultra Low Volume (ULV) spray equipment will be utilized to spray DeltaGard, a reduced-risk pesticide product registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), applied at a rate of .66 oz/acre. The active ingredient in DeltaGard is Deltamethrin. DeltaGard does not contain Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) or any other synergists. This product is diluted with water and designed to provide quick knockdown and effective control of adult mosquitoes.
After collecting adult mosquito traps, DEP’s Northwest Regional Office determined that adult mosquito population thresholds were met, and control is warranted to assist in reducing the mosquito populations in these areas.
The control work will begin late in the evening, between 7:30 PM and 10:30 PM. The route boundaries will focus on the areas in:
• Cambridge Springs Borough (all streets).
• Cambridge Township in the area near McClellan Street, SR 99 and Thomas Street.
• West Mead Township in the area between SR 322 and Williamson Road and Lamont Drive and Stauffer Road.
• East Fairfield Township along Powell Lane and Gravel Pit Road.
• Cochranton Borough (all streets).
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 Pennsylvania Department of Health, all residents in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of contracting West Nile encephalitis.
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 as 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 a resident has stagnant pools of water on their property, they can buy Bti (short for Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis) 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, especially for people who are most at risk, like people who may be immunocompromised or are age 50 and older:
• 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 repellents according to the manufacturer's instructions. An effective repellent will contain DEET, picaridin, or lemon eucalyptus oil. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician for questions about the use of repellent on children, as repellent is not recommended for children under the age of two months.
For more information about West Nile virus and the state's surveillance and control program, please visit www.dep.pa.gov/westnile
Weather conditions and other unexpected events could delay or cancel this spray operation. A rain date of Tuesday, August 3, 2021, will be used, if necessary.