Mosquito Prevention Awareness

When you think of mosquitos you probably think of pesky bugs and itchy bites, but mosquitos can cause more harm than you may be aware of. The threat of mosquito-borne diseases is very real and it is important for our community to be aware of how to prevent mosquitos from breeding on both private and publicly owned properties. The Borough has addressed this important community health issue by forming the West Nile Task Force (WNTF), a group formed of Borough staff, elected officials, Borough citizens, employees of the Chester County Health Department and community stakeholders. The WNTF is striving to educate and to bring awareness to the public on the importance of mosquito prevention.

Here are some frequently asked questions which will help you learn more about how mosquitos breed and what you can do to prevent them from doing so on your property:

WHERE DO MOSQUITOS BREED?
A mosquito’s lifecycle has four stages – egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Mosquitoes need water to breed since all mosquitoes spend their larval and pupal stages in water. Therefore, mosquitoes can always be found around water. This is why it is important to prevent stagnant water from standing around your home and apply a larvicide to areas where stagnant water cannot be removed.

HOW CAN I PREVENT BREEDING ON MY PROPERTY?
• Cover or empty containers such as trash cans, wading pools, wheelbarrows, and pots.
• Turn containers upside down when not in use so they don’t collect water.
• Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers.
• Get rid of old tires.
• Change the water in bird baths every three to five days.
• Check storm drains, window wells, and underneath leaky faucets for standing water.
• Clean roof gutters every year.
• Aerate and/or stock ornamental ponds with fish.
• Keep swimming pools clean and chlorinated. Make sure that water does not gather on swimming pool covers.
• Treat a pool of standing water that cannot be drained with Bti products. Bti is a naturally-occurring bacterial product that kills mosquito larvae and is safe for people, pets, aquatic life, and plants. You can find these products at local lawn and garden supply stores.
• Make sure that window and door screens fit tightly to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
• Run electric fans nearby when spending time outdoors. Mosquitoes have trouble flying in strong winds.
• Replace outdoor lights with yellow "bug" lights, which tend to attract fewer mosquitoes than ordinary lights.

WHAT IS THE BOROUGH DOING TO PREVENT BREEDING IN PUBLIC SPACES?
In May of 2016 the Borough, in partnership with the CCHD, completed larvicide application in 31 storm inlets which posed potential threat of breeding grounds for mosquitos. The Public Works Department will work on fixing these problem inlets so as to eliminate the potential for water to remain stagnant within them.

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
Become a Block Captain to reach out to your neighbors and keep them informed on what they can do to prevent from breeding occurring on their properties. Block Captains are responsible for distribution of outreach and educational materials. To become a Block Captain contact Margaret Hudgings mhudgings@gmail.com or Nathaniel Smith nathanielbsmith@earthlink.net