The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) declared June 23 - 29, 2019 Mosquito Awareness Week. Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance - they can carry human diseases such as West Nile virus. As Radnor Township prepares for mosquito season, Delaware County Mosquito-Borne Disease Control Program reminds the public to be diligent about inspecting and maintaining their properties for stagnant water to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases.
While the 2019 sample results have not yet been published, 2018 West Nile Virus samples were found in Radnor, Haverford, Lower Chichester townships, and in Ridley Park, Sharon Hill, and Yeadon boroughs. Marie Carbonara, RN, Radnor Township Health Officer, was informed that this was considered a significant outbreak of West Nile Virus. “Mosquitoes need water to complete their lifecycle. If everyone does their part to minimize their standing water, we can drastically reduce mosquito populations and the possibility of spreading diseases,” said Carbonara. “Establishing regular maintenance can protect ourselves and our loved ones from the health threats posed by mosquitoes.”
“Residents can take a few simple steps around their homes to reduce the risk of contracting WNV,” said Lori Devlin, Director of Intercommunity Health Coordination Delaware County. “Mosquitoes need water to breed, so if you eliminate their breeding spots you reduce their numbers.” The county recommends the following steps towards mosquito prevention:
- 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.
Not only did the county provide tips to limit mosquito numbers, it offered tips to avoid mosquito bites:
- 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 lemon eucalyptus oil. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician for questions about the use of repellant on children, as repellant is not recommended for children under the age of two months.
Visit the State's website on the West Nile Virus control program (www.westnile.state.pa.us) to learn more about mosquitoes and -West Nile Virus. To report an abandoned swimming pool, mosquito activity, or to request informational material or an educational presentation, the public can contact the Township office by calling (610) 688-5600.
ABOUT RADNOR TOWNSHIP DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: The mission of the Community Development Department is to serve the residents of Radnor Township through the administration and enforcement of regulatory ordinances adopted by the Board of Commissioners to assure the health, safety, and welfare of everyone involved in the Radnor experience. Its mission is also to provide efficient and courteous service to all members of the community, and to be dedicated to the continued effort towards maintaining a secure and pleasant environment, while striving to further enhance the quality of life that has become synonymous with Radnor Township residency.
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