West Nile-positive mosquitoes found in York County

Matt Enright
York Dispatch
Lee Graybill, program administrator of the Mosquito Surveillance Program in York County, places mosquito traps at a location off of Roosevelt Avenue in York, Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Captured mosquitoes will be tested for West Nile Virus. 
John A. Pavoncello photo

Three mosquitoes trapped in Conewago Township tested positive for West Nile virus.

They were discovered by the York County Mosquito Surveillance Program on June 8 according to a Friday news release.

"There were two mosquitoes from one site and another mosquito from another site," program administrator Lee Graybill said, adding that additional surveillance, sampling and control of mosquito larvae is now being conducted in the area. 

The follow-up will include putting more traps within a half-mile of the area of Conewago Township where the mosquitoes were found, he said. Surveillance will involve looking for areas where mosquitoes may be breeding and their larvae, while control involves killing the larvae before they become adults.

To prevent mosquitoes, the most important thing is preventing standing water from building up, Graybill said. That helps take away their preferred breeding location. 

"Tires, junk in the backyard, kiddie pools, any of those things. That can be a big help," he said. "We try to go out and clean up and treat retention ponds and catch basins, and abandoned homes might have a swimming pool." 

Other than cleaning up yards to ensure there is no standing water, York County residents should also use repellents that contain DEET, as they are the most effective.

"For individuals who don’t like to use repellents, we recommend taking an electric fan outside with you," the news release said. "Mosquitoes don’t like the wind and the fan will help keep them away."

York County residents can report mosquito concerns to the Pennsylvania West Nile virus website at www.westnile.state.pa.us. In addition, they can contact the York County Mosquito Surveillance Program by calling 717-840-2375 or emailing LMGraybill@yorkcountypa.gov.