Wet June means mosquitoes, West Nile worries

BALA CYNWYD, Pa. - June 28, 2013

More standing water from the storms means more opportunities for the pests to breed.

It's a concern for health officials because mosquitoes can spread the potentially deadly West Nile virus.

"Mosquitoes are a huge nuisance and nobody likes to be bitten by mosquitoes, but the real problem is when they become infected with West Nile Virus and can pass it on to people and people can become ill," said Steven Gerloff of the Montgomery County Health Department.

The best way to prevent West Nile is to kill mosquitoes before they become adults. That's one reason why officials of the Montgomery County Health Department set up an information table in Norristown on Friday, reminding people to get rid of standing water where mosquitoes breed.

It's the same message Dr. George Avetian, Senior Medical Advisor for Delaware County, is sharing with residents there.

"It doesn't take much water, so you want to clear all the water off your property," Avetian said.

Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a thimbleful or bottle-cap full of water, so it's important to make sure that gutters are running freely and buckets or wheelbarrows are emptied and turned over.

Also, make sure that trash and recycling cans have drainage holes in the bottom.

If you have birdbaths or ponds, you should drop in a larvae-killing briquette or "dunk" so they don't become breeding grounds.

It's also important to protect yourself with long sleeves and pants and insect repellant, especially if you're outside at either dusk or dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

No West Nile cases have been reported in our area so far, but they have seen the mosquito population grow in the past week.

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