Mosquitoes can pose a potential health risk as transmitters of diseases, such as encephalitis and West Nile virus. A single water-filled bucket can produce a new generation of hundreds of biting mosquitoes every few days. Most disease-causing mosquitoes spend their entire lives within 300 feet of their breeding site. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water. Larvae hatch from the eggs and develop into flying adults. Anything in yards that hold water can be a breeding site for mosquitoes.
To reduce the mosquito population, eliminate the conditions mosquitoes need to breed:
- Empty, remove, cover or turn over any container that has the potential to hold water.
- Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets.
- Make sure gutters and downspouts are free of blockages and are properly draining.
- Empty wading pools weekly and store indoors when not in use.
- Properly dispose of old tires.
- Change water and scrub vases that hold flowers or cuttings twice each week.
- Empty bird baths twice weekly.
- Empty your pet’s watering dishes daily.
- Drain or fill low areas on your property that hold water for more than three days.
The Franklin County Board of Health installs and monitors mosquito traps throughout the Township from early summer to mid-fall for the incidence of West Nile virus and La Crosse encephalitis in the mosquito population. If surveillance shows an increasing number of diseased mosquitoes and an unusually large number of mosquitoes that test positive for West Nile virus in a trap, the area will be sprayed. Spraying is effective on only the adult mosquito population and does not kill egg or larval stages.
When done properly, spraying for mosquitoes is an effective way to reduce the numbers of mosquitoes and reduce residents’ risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases. In order to be effective, spraying must coincide with the time of day the mosquitoes are most active. For the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus, that means spraying around twilight and early evening or early morning hours.
Take the following precautionary steps to greatly reduce exposure during mosquito spraying:
- Whenever possible, remain indoors with windows closed.
- Bring laundry and toys indoors before spraying begins. Wash with soap and water if exposed to pesticides during spraying.
- Bring pets indoors, and turn off aerators in ornamental fishponds to avoid direct exposure.
- Cover outdoor tables and play equipment or rinse them off after spraying is finished.
- Wash exposed skin surfaces with soap and water if you come in contact with pesticides.
- Wash any exposed fruits and vegetables with water before storing, cooking or eating.
- Wait about one hour before allowing children to play in areas that have been sprayed.
- For your safety and the safety of our operators, please do not approach or follow a spray truck when it is operating. If you are in a vehicle, please try to find an alternate route.