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Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus in Union Township, Centre County

BELLEFONTE — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Vector Management reported to the Centre County Planning and Community Development Office that a mosquito sample collected recently in Union Township has tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

Additional mosquito surveillance, sampling, and larval control are being performed as necessary by the Centre County Mosquito Disease Control Program staff.

“We recommend residents take preemptive measures by inspecting their yards, taking a few minutes to clean up, reducing yard clutter and dumping out any sources of stagnant water,” a release from the county said. “Residents may also purchase a variety of mosquito control and repellent products available at most home and garden centers.”

Performing a community-wide cleanup will help reduce most mosquito concerns.

Residents are urged to contact their local municipality to help promote cleaning up to reduce mosquito concerns and disease risk. Stormwater management systems can sometimes contribute to mosquito issues and are routinely monitored by the Centre County Mosquito Disease Control Program staff.

Mosquito surveillance indicates that the most common mosquito species in residential areas come from artificial containers left behind by humans.

Artificial containers can be something small, like a flower vase, to sometimes as large as a swimming pool. Additional containers such as tires, buckets, child toys, and tarps are preferred by mosquitoes because other predators found in nature, which would prey on mosquito larvae, are not present.

During periods of drought, these containers continue to hold water and produce mosquitoes. One bucket or tire in someone’s backyard can produce hundreds to thousands of mosquitoes in a year.

In the months of May through October, mosquitoes can complete their life cycle within five to seven days. Residents should use repellents when spending time outside.

As a last resort, residents can purchase insecticides from garden centers and hardware stores to spray in their yard but need to be sure to follow the label instructions.

Centre County residents may report mosquito concerns through the Pennsylvania West Nile Virus website: www.westnile.state.pa.us or by contacting the Centre County Mosquito Disease Control Program at 814-355-6791.

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