Mosquito control treatment scheduled for Phoenixville Borough to prevent West Nile Virus

[DSM needs citizen help in observing Health Department procedures and the results of spraying (which in general we oppose). Anyone in this spray area, please try to let us know:

• The release says “After exhausting all other available mosquito control strategies…” Do you know of other such strategies to date, such as working with the municipal government to educate residents, larviciding suspect bodies of standing water, or alerting property owners whose properties may be violating the Health Department’s regulation against allowing mosquitoes to breed in standing water?
• Are adequate warnings posted well in advance so residents and visitors will know to stay out of the way of the spray and take protective measures?
• Did you observe people who were not aware of the recommended precautions?
• Is there a lead truck with a loud speaker in front of the spray truck warning people to stay indoors or leave the vicinity?
• Does the truck spray more than once in any street or on any area? Does it crisscross any area, thus delivering a double dose to some addresses?
• Is the spray shut off as the truck approaches a stream or body of water and if so, how many feet away?
• After spraying, what difference do you notice in the number of mosquitoes and other insects such as honey bees and dragonflies?
• Did you notice any effect, either immediate or after a few days, on children, cats, frogs, birds, or bats?
• How long does it take for the adult mosquito population to get back to about what it was before?

DSM needs you to help protect people and the environment and to let public officials know what you think.]

press release, Chester County Health Department, 8/29/17

West Chester, PA – The Chester County Health Department, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP), will conduct a mosquito control treatment spray in portions of Phoenixville Borough (map of treatment area). The treatment is scheduled for Thursday, August 31st from 7:45 pm to 11:00 pm. The rain/makeup date for this event is Tuesday, September 5th from 7:45 pm to 11:00 pm.

Ph'ville spray area 8:31:17

The Chester County Health Department conducts mosquito control treatment in areas with high levels of mosquito activity and where multiple mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). After exhausting all other available mosquito control strategies, spraying is conducted to reduce residents’ risk of WNV infection. Anyone living in an area where mosquitoes are infected with WNV is at risk, but the risk of infection is highest for people who work outside or participate in outdoor activities. Less than 1% of people infected will develop serious illness. While serious illness can occur in people of any age, people over 60 years of age, people who have received organ transplants, and people with certain medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease are at the greatest risk for serious illness.

The Chester County Health Department will use PA DEP equipment – a silver Ford Ranger affixed with the PA DEP logo and BU# BU2626 – to conduct the spray. A truck-mounted sprayer will apply 1.0 ounces of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved product (Biomist 3+15) per acre of land. A white GMC truck affixed with the Chester County Health Department logo with BU# BU1901 will be the lead truck. The mosquito control spray becomes inactive in just a few hours or with sunshine. Sprays are conducted after sunset, when mosquitoes are most active and bees have returned to their hives. Sprayers are turned off near bodies of water and apiaries to protect aquatic life and bees. The Chester County Health Department also notifies registered beekeepers and residents who are listed as hypersensitive in a designated spray area prior to conducting a spray. People who are concerned about exposure to mosquito control products can reduce their potential for exposure by staying indoors with children and pets when their neighborhood is being sprayed. If you would like to take extra precautions after the spray is completed, you can rinse off outdoor furniture or playground equipment before use.

Although spraying helps to reduce mosquito populations, the Chester County Health Department encourages residents to “Make You and Your Home a Bite-Free Zone” to prevent WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases….

[Standard Health Department advice follows, as in earlier releases.]


One thought on “Mosquito control treatment scheduled for Phoenixville Borough to prevent West Nile Virus

  1. How long after the truck has sprayed to you need to stay indoors ?

    Short answer: they say a couple of hours but let’s be safe and give the pesticide at least 24 hours to degrade (as it is supposed to do) before hanging out where there could be residues.

    Longer answer: Although rapid dissipation of the chemicals is claimed, some of our members have reported reactions for much longer periods of time after the spraying is completed. Our recommendation is to keep children and pets off the grass and paved surfaces as well for a week after the spraying. Always leave shoes by the door so chemical residues are not brought inside. Earlier versions of the guidelines for the use of the chemicals sprayed by the Health Department included these types of warnings, which in recent years have been removed. We still recommend being careful about exposure to chemicals and bringing the residues into the house.

    If you have an adverse reaction to the spraying be sure to report it to the Chester County Health Department. It is possible to register as a chemically sensitive individual. You will then be notified when spraying will occur so you can take precautions to protect yourself from the spray. Although there is one case acknowledged by the Health Department of a man in Phoenixville who was not sprayed because of health issues, requests for a spray free zone around the home are generally denied. If you are sensitive, get out of town for several days and ask someone to wipe down outdoor surfaces for you before you return.


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