Excessive rain, standing water could lead to more mosquitoes

Posted at 4:27 PM, May 03, 2017

Residents are asked to eliminate standing water in order to help prevent mosquito breeding.

Recent excessive rain and standing water could lead to an increase in mosquito breeding. Just one small bottle cap of water can result in hundreds of mosquitoes, according to the Erie County Department of Health, making the excess standing water after the wettest April on record a concern.

Residents are asked to check their yards regularly and get rid of any temporary pools of water on their property. The best way to do this is to clear debris from gutters and ditches; cut small channels to hep drain pooling water; fill in holes and tire ruts with dirt; drain water from pool covers; garden pots and children's pools; and treat rain barrels.

These steps will help prevent the spread of the West Nile Virus.

"Although we have not had a confirmed human case of West Nile Virus in Erie County since October 2012, we want to minimize the risk of mosquito-borne diseases," said Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein.

In addition to eliminating standing water, people are encouraged to use insect repellant containing 25% DEET, wear protective clothing at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, and install or repair window screens.

"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," said Peter Tripi, Senior Public Health Sanitarian. "One neglected and unattended 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 961-6800."