HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Gov. Tom Wolf and the state Department of Environmental Protection are giving out more than $2 million in grants to 60 counties to survey and control mosquito populations.
The goal is to prevent West Nile and Zika viruses, which are carried by certain types of mosquitoes. Last year, the state had 16 cases of West Nile.
Monitoring for West Nile began May 1. Zika monitoring begins June 1.
The counties have their own control mechanisms. Cumberland County’s vector department, for example, sprays parks and areas with standing water throughout its municipalities.
But it’s up to homeowners to manage their own properties. Hampden Township Manager Keith Metts says the township will send out notices to residents if they see standing water or infested pools.
Michael Leonard, executive director at ACE Hardware in Lemoyne, showed us a special spray to keep the bugs away.
“This is going to take care of the ants, mosquitoes, fleas, anything like that,” Leonard said. “This is designed to be a season-long type of control.”
He says you should apply it now, especially before people come over for Memorial Day barbecues.
But even more important than that, Leonard says you should look out for standing water.
“Things like flower pots or old tires tend to gather water,” he said. “They are really where mosquitoes breed, so you really want to get rid of those kinds of stuff.”
And always remember your bug spray when going out.
County leaders say they’re willing to come to anyone’s property if you suspect mosquitoes are breeding.