In response to mosquito samples repeatedly testing positive for the West Nile Virus, staff from the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) will team up to treat four South Side neighborhoods and Mt. Washington with pesticide to control adult mosquitoes carrying the virus.
The focus will be on the relatively flat residential streets between the Monongahela River and Josephine Street, and from the Hot Metal Bridge downriver to the 10th Street Bridge. Areas in and around Olympia Park and Mt. Washington Park will also be treated. Combined efforts of the spray teams will better cover this fairly large area starting at dusk, roughly from 8 to 11 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the spraying will be rescheduled.
The departments will be using a mosquito pesticide called Zenivex which contains no piperonyl butoxide. It kills adult mosquitoes, but is very safe and harmless to people and pets. It will be released from a truck-mounted, ultra-low volume sprayer at a rate of just one to three ounces per acre. Storm water catch basins in these neighborhoods have already been treated to stop the breeding of mosquitoes in standing water.
Health officials urge the public to protect themselves from mosquitoes by getting rid of standing water in yards and neighborhoods, using insect repellent on exposed skin and minimizing time spent outdoors during daylight hours – especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Seventy mosquito samples in Allegheny County have tested positive for West Nile since mid-May, but no human cases have been reported so far this year from the County.