Case studies in what to avoid


Above-ground pools are often forgotten or abandoned and are perfect hosts for organic matter and, consequently, mosquito families. (In-ground pools usually have enough chemicals to deter mosquito breeding, but beware of water accumulating on pool covers!)


Puddle dug by cars at the edge of the road. If it stays wet for 7 days, it will be productive!


Clogged eave about 7 feet off the ground, easily accessible to mosquitoes (they will fly much higher too). The obstruction at the far end (the low end, over the downpipe unless there is a construcvtion error) needs to be cleared regularly.


Looking down this grill over a storm drain, you can see sky reflected back to you from water standing at the bottom. A beacon to egg-laying mosquitoes!

Trash can lid with larvae
Overturned trash lids can hold water. Lids should be tightly affixed to containers at all times in order to keep out water and other common pests like rats.

 

 

Flat roof syndrome. For some reason architects or builders can’t always figure out drainage, or else the roof sags over time. Yes, mosquitoes fly pretty high. If the roof retains water for a week after eggs are laid, the roof is a breeding site!

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Citizen measures for mosquito control become more urgent!

As often happens in mid-summer, mosquito traps set by the County are starting to show some West Nile virus positives. This means that at certain trap sites, over a 24-hour period, one or more mosquitoes out of the scores or hundreds trapped were carrying the virus.

No humans are known to have been affected so far in Chester County, but this means we citizens should redouble our efforts to curb the mosquito population and fend off spraying, whose harmful effects are known and whose benefits, if any, are unproven beyond the initial destruction of adult insects of all species.

Two West Nile Virus positives this month have occurred at Greenfield Park at S. Franklin St.,and Greenview Alley, West Chester, just south of E. Nields St., in West Chester, ward 4, in the southeast part of the Borough

Also, there have been positives in a couple of other sites around the County.

To do your part, please refer to “What can I do to reduce the mosquito population?” and the concrete advice on the Borough site’s Mosquito Awareness page about suppressing standing water.

In West Chester, Block Captains should by now have distributed both 1) a letter from Mayor Jordan Norley and 2) a doorhanger from the Borough.

If you live outside West Chester Borough, please contact us and we will put you in touch with others in your community.

No breeding mosquitoes… it’s a matter of public health!

from the Chester County Health Department Rules and Regulations:

502.5.1.1. No person shall maintain or permit to be maintained any pond, privy vault, cesspool, well, cistern, rain barrel, individual sewage system, community sewage system, or other receptacle or system containing water, unless such receptacle or system is constructed or maintained in a manner to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes, flies, or vectors of disease.

Mayor Comitta’s letter

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