Aggressive Day Biter from Dawn to Dusk Can Amplify Spread of West Nile Virus
PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department is reporting that the Asian Tiger mosquito has been found throughout Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood.
“Complaints about the Asian Tiger have been limited to Lawrenceville. However, it could turn up elsewhere in the region because the Tiger has been found in two other municipalities in previous seasons. Residents should keep their gutters clean and remove all water-holding containers on their property. You do not want this mosquito breeding in your neighborhood,” said Acting Health Director Dr. Ron Voorhees.
Known as the Asian Tiger because of its Southeast Asia origin and characteristic black-and-white striped legs and body, the mosquito is an aggressive day biter from dawn to dusk that can transmit the West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases to humans and domestic animals.
The public can take these measures and eliminate stagnant water from their yards and neighborhoods:
- Get rid of items that hold water -- tires, buckets, flowerpots, junk piles and cans.
- Clean out roof gutters and storm drains.
- Change the water in birdbaths once or twice a week.
- Empty and turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
- Drain water from plastic coverings on swimming pools and outdoor furniture.
- Properly filter/chlorinate backyard swimming pools; dismantle those not in use.
- Fill in depressions on your lawn to prevent accumulation of water.
- Repair leaky outdoor faucets that can create a pool of stagnant water.
Failure to eliminate stagnant water and mosquito breeding conditions on a voluntary basis can lead to a violation notice and a Health Department enforcement action requiring the property owner to clean up.
People can also protect themselves from mosquito bites by closing openings to their house, using window screens, applying insect repellent on exposed skin, wearing long-sleeve tops and pants, and minimizing time spend outdoors during daylight hours, especially at dawn and dusk when most mosquitoes are more likely to bite.
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