West Nile Virus Control Program

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.

• Blow grass clipping away from standing water as mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in water with dead grass.  

• Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers.

• Have clogged roof gutters cleaned spring, summer & fall as 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 or frogs.

• 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 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. 

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 & black flylarva, but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.  Follow instructions carefully.

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 repellents according to the manufacturer’s instructions. An effective repellent will contain DEET, picardin 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.westnile.state.pa.us

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