Modified: May 3, 2017 2:58pm
From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein
Date: May 3, 2017
CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov
Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925
Excessive Rain & Standing Water Could Lead to Increase in Mosquitoes
Residents Asked to Help Prevent Mosquito Breeding by Eliminating Standing Water
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Our area’s recent and forecasted rainfall, resulting in super-saturated soil and abundant standing water, may lead to more than just a soggy summer. Rising overnight temperatures may lead to a significant mosquito increase.
According to the National Weather Service, April 2017 has entered the record books as the wettest April ever, with a new monthly precipitation record of 6.38” of rain. As a result, there is an excessive amount of standing water throughout Erie County.
Standing water leads to mosquito breeding. For example, just one small bottle cap of water can result in hundreds of mosquitos. In order to prevent mosquito growth and possible transmission of the West Nile virus (“WNV”) and other mosquito-borne viruses, residents are asked to help in the fight against mosquitoes by eliminating their favorite places to breed and lay eggs that develop into larvae. Check your yards on a regular basis and remove any temporary pools of water on your property, especially when dirty and stagnant. This can be done by clearing debris from gutters and ditches, cutting small channels to help drain pooling water, filling in holes and tire ruts with dirt, draining water from pool covers, in garden pots and children’s pools and treating rain barrels.
“Although we have not had a confirmed human case of West Nile Virus (“WNV”) in Erie County since October 2012,” said Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein, “we want to minimize the risk of mosquito-borne diseases.”
Prevention is the best way to avoid exposure to West Nile Virus, which is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. In addition to eliminating standing water, it is highly recommended to use an insect repellant containing 25% DEET, wear protective clothing at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, and install or repair window screens to reduce the risk.
“We are also concerned with the number of unmaintained and stagnant swimming pools in Erie County, usually at houses that are stuck in the foreclosure process. One neglected and untended swimming pool can infest an entire neighborhood with mosquitoes. If you know of a “zombie” house with such a situation, report it to Erie County’s Division of Environmental Health by calling 716-961-6800. Please be good neighbors and eliminate any standing water on your property as it is not only a nuisance, but also a public health threat,” said Peter Tripi, Senior Public Health Sanitarian.
Burstein concluded: “Mosquitoes are a summertime nuisance. By taking a few proactive, simple steps, you can reduce your risk of mosquito bite and possibly contracting a mosquito-borne disease like WNV. “
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