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Mosquito Spraying In Luzerne County Set For Aug. 7

August 4, 2018

The Luzerne County West Nile Program will begin spraying an insecticide to kill mosquitoes on Tuesday.

The spraying was delayed from Aug. 2 because of the rain, according to a press release from Luzerne County.

Workers will spray the insecticide AquaDUET from trucks in parts of Edwardsville, Forty Fort, Kingston, Kingston Twp., Swoyersville and Wilkes-Barre on Thursday.

AquaDEUT is designed to provide quick, effective control of adult mosquito populations, according to the release. It is not harmful to humans or pets and has a negligible impact on other insects and the environment.

The spray will begin at dusk pending any unforeseen circumstances and conclude between 9:30-10:30 p.m. Residents should stay indoors as much as possible during these hours only. Weather conditions and other unexpected events could delay or cancel this spray operation. If conditions do not allow for application on Tuesday, Wednesday will serve as the back-up spray date. If conditions remain unfavorable, the spray will be postponed until weather permits.

Some mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus, which can cause inflammation of the brain.

Once a person is bitten by an infected mosquito, the virus takes about two days to two weeks to incubate in the body. Most people don’t develop any symptoms, but about 1 in 5 infected people will have headaches, body and joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash. Most people recover completely, but it may take months. A few people develop severe symptoms.

Fewer than 1 percent of people infected will develop a neurological infection. About 10 percent of those people will die from the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is no vaccine or antiviral treatments.

Every year, the state captures mosquitoes around the state and tests them for the virus. This year, they first found the virus in mosquitoes in Luzerne County on June 20. From that date through July 19, biologists identified 18 positive samples of West Nile virus in mosquitoes captured in Luzerne County.

Individuals can take precautionary measures around their homes to help eliminate mosquito-breeding areas, including:

• Empty containers that collect and hold water, such as tires, tin cans, buckets and tarps.

• Empty and change water in bird baths, flower pot trays, cemetery urns, pet dishes, rain barrels and wading pools.

• 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.

• Clean debris from rain gutters and keep swimming pools treated and circulating.

• Drain or fill puddles with dirt.

• Stock ornamental ponds with fish that will consume mosquito larvae.

• 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.

• 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 information about West Nile virus and the state’s surveillance and control program, visit www.westnile.state.pa.us.

— STAFF REPORT

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