Wet summer prompts mosquito spraying

CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) — Efforts to control Cumberland County’s mosquito population are seeing an uptick due to a wet summer.

“We began spraying two weeks ago in Lemoyne,” said John Bitner, chief of Cumberland County Vector Control. “As temperatures rise, the mosquitoes become more active. The rain events we’ve seen are just frequent enough that it’s providing enough habitat for a couple of days to provide a place for the mosquitoes to reproduce.”

Bitner says the goal of the mosquito spraying program is to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes, which in turn reduces the health risk for humans to potentially contract diseases including West Nile virus and Zika. Vector Control uses up to 150 traps to collect mosquito specimens from across the county and tests them for the diseases.

This year, enough positive samples were collected to warrant nighttime spraying along several miles of streets in both Lemoyne and Camp Hill.

For the first time, Vector Control will be using a new state-of-the-art ultra-low volume sprayer that emits a mist of fine droplets of the chemical Biomist 315 from the bed of a slow-moving pickup truck.

“The product we’re using shouldn’t be a health concern for residents, but it’s always good to take the precaution of staying inside, closing your windows until we’re through with the program,” said Bitner.

Residents can sign up to receive notifications about future mosquito spraying operations at the Cumberland County Vector Control website.

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