Mosquitoes bite [Updated]

You say you don't like mosquitoes? Really, who does? But you just might want to stay away from the areas in Cheltenham Township where spraying will take place to get rid of these members of the Culicidae family of flies.

The Montgomery County Health Department announced Thursday that, weather permitting, it will spray insecticide on Monday from about 8 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., aimed at mosquitoes. If the weather doesn't permit, spraying will be done Wednesday.

"The adult mosquito control program will only be used in limited situations to reduce large numbers of adult mosquitoes," the department said.

The health department said it had decided to go ahead with the plan after talking to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Cheltenham Township officials. The targeted areas were chosen because county and state sampling showed the presence of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus.

[Updated: West Nile-infected mosquitoes have also been found in Hatboro and Upper Moreland.  Officials will spray in three of those areas Aug. 8 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.  The areas are: A triangle bounded by the Turnpike, Warminster Road and Byberry Road; an area bounded by Newington Drive, E. Mill Road, and the Turnpike; and what appears to be open land bounded by train tracks, Torwood Road, and Davisville Road.]

The next part is too darn technical for me to paraphrase so here it is straight from the county:

"All areas within the highlighted section of the attached map will be subjected to spraying. Workers will be using Duet Dual-Action Adulticide at a rate of 0.75 fluid ounces per acre applied with a truck mounted Ultra Low Volume (ULV) sprayer."

Got that? Better still, stay away from that.

Check out the map for which areas will be sprayed. If you have questions call the county health department at 610-278-5117.

For more information on the insecticides, go the U.S. EPA's website.

The health department also offers these tips for what you can do to make your home and yard less hospitable to mosquitoes:

  • Identify and eliminate all sources of standing water that collect on your property. Mosquitoes will breed in any puddle that lasts for more than four days.
  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or similar water holding containers that have collected on your property. Do not overlook containers that have become overgrown by aquatic vegetation.
  • Pay special attention to discarded tires that may have collected water on your property. They can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left out of doors. Drainage holes that are located on the container sides collect enough water for mosquitoes to breed in.
  • Have clogged roof gutters cleaned on an annual basis, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to block drains.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use. A wading pool becomes a place for mosquitoes to breed if it is not used on a regular basis.
  • Turn over wheelbarrows and do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths.
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens are fashionable but become major mosquito breeding grounds if they are allowed to stagnate.
  • Keep swimming pools clean and chlorinated. A swimming pool that is left untended becomes a source of mosquito breeding. Be aware that mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.