CHAMBERSBURG – Two samples collected in the Borough of Chambersburg have tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Vector Management.
This is the first sampling in the county to test positive this year. To date, 487 have been collected in Franklin County. Last year saw a total of six positive samples collected.
“This is one of the mildest years for West Nile Virus activity since the program started in Franklin County,” said Jason Goetz, Mosquito and Tick Borne Disease Specialist at the Franklin County Planning Department.
The Franklin County Planning Department’s WNV Program and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Vector Management provides mosquito surveillance, sampling, and larval control as necessary.
But local residents can help mitigate mosquito breeding.
“We recommend that residents continue to take time to inspect their yards and take a few minutes to clean up, reduce yard clutter, and dump out any sources of stagnant water,” said Goetz.
Residents may also purchase a variety of mosquito control and repellent products from most home and garden centers. Performing a community-wide cleanup will help reduce most mosquito concerns. Stormwater management systems can sometimes contribute to mosquito issues and are also routinely monitored by Franklin County Planning.
Mosquito surveillance in Franklin County indicates that the most common mosquito species in residential areas originates from water in artificial containers left behind by humans. Artificial containers can be something small like a bottle cap to something as large as a swimming pool.
Additional containers such as tires, buckets and tarps are preferred by mosquitoes because natural predators are not present to prey on mosquito larvae. During periods of drought, these containers continue to hold water and produce mosquitoes. One bucket or tire in a backyard can produce hundreds to thousands of mosquitoes in a year.
From May through October, mosquitoes can complete their life cycle within five to seven days. Residents should consider using repellents when spending time outside. Individuals who do not prefer to use repellents can use an electric fan since mosquitoes do not like the wind. As a last resort, residents can purchase insecticides from garden centers and hardware stores to spray in their own yard but need to be sure to follow the label instructions.
Franklin County residents can contact the Franklin County West Nile Virus Program by calling 717-261-3855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. To view sample information, visit http://www.depgis.state.pa.us/WNV/index.html.