August 8, 2011

Mosquito Spraying Set for Philadelphia on Aug. 10

NORRISTOWN, Pa., Aug. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health will apply aerial larval mosquito treatments the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 10, at wastewater treatment plants near Penrose Ferry Road and the Betsy Ross Bridge, and in wetlands on the eastern side of the Philadelphia airport. The helicopter will be based out of the airport and spraying along both sides of I-95.

In the event of rain, the spraying will be rescheduled for Thursday, Aug. 11.

Mosquitoes in these areas have tested positive for the West Nile virus. The treatments will be administered during the morning hours by helicopter, dispensing VectoLex, a biological granular pesticide product, at a rate of 10 to 20 pounds per acre. This product is designed to provide quick, effective control of larval mosquito populations that breed in such habitats. There will be no aerial spraying for adult mosquitoes.

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 getting West Nile encephalitis.

To date this year, 20 mosquito samples have been identified with the West Nile virus in Philadelphia, but no human cases have yet been confirmed anywhere in the state.

Individuals can take a number of measures around the home to help eliminate mosquito-breeding areas, including:

  • Dispose of cans, buckets, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers that hold water on your property.
  • 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.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters every year, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees tend 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.

For stagnant pools of water, homeowners can buy Bti products at lawn and garden, outdoor supply, home improvement and other stores. This naturally occurring bacteria kills mosquito larva, 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 oil of lemon eucalyptus. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician if you have questions about the use of repellant on children, as repellant 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, visit

Media contact: Lynda Rebarchak, 484-250-5820

SOURCE Department of Environmental Protection Southeast Regional Office