Below is the text of the letter from Mayor Carolyn Comitta being circulated to Borough residents in May, 2016. Download pdf here: Mayor’s mosquito letter.
Dear Borough Resident and/or Property Owner:
Since West Chester Borough’s beginnings, its citizens and leaders have valued and protected our environment. The recognition of the importance of green stewardship still resonates today through the many environmentally focused and sustainable initiatives in place throughout the Borough.
The most recent of these initiatives is the West Nile Task Force (WNTF), formed of Borough leaders, staff, and citizens, whose involvement began last summer when there was a realization for the need to protect the community against pesticide spraying, in order to create awareness and educate the community on the importance of mosquito control practices in the Borough. By eliminating potential breeding grounds for mosquito larvae, the need for spraying pesticides should be greatly reduced. This task force works closely with the Chester County Health Department (CCHD) in order to identify best management practices in preventing mosquitos from breeding on Borough properties.
This task force, with the help of the “Don’t Spray Me” group of borough residents, will look to educate our residents and property owners on how to take the correct preventative measures to keep mosquitos from breeding and to hopefully eliminate the need for spraying anti-mosquito pesticides in the Borough. The spraying of these pesticides becomes necessary only if adult mosquitos in an area test positive for WNV and is regarded by the CCHD as a last resort.
Let’s use the first resort: preventing mosquitoes from breeding! Yes, our own yards and houses are a large part of the problem!
Here are some things you can do to ensure you are not creating potential breeding grounds on your property:
• Do not leave trash cans outside uncovered.
• Keep wading pools covered or emptied.
• Do not store old tires outside.
• Wheelbarrows, pots, plastic containers, etc. should be turned over so as to not collect water.
• Do not allow water in bird baths to become stagnant.
• Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers to eliminate standing water.
• Clean roof gutters, particularly if leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug drains.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools regularly.
• Apply larvicide to areas of stagnant water that cannot be drained.
As your Mayor, I recognize the importance of protecting our community. So let’s all work together and tackle the mosquito issue. With your help, we can make West Chester a clean, green and bite-free zone!
Carolyn T. Comitta, Mayor
Borough of West Chester