This week’s guest blog was written by Tom Smith, West Nile Virus Program Administrator, in the Penn State York County Extension Office. With the early detection of West Nile Virus in a horse already, this may be an active year for mosquitoes. We decided to feature a monthly blog article about a West Nile Virus topic through the Fall.
In Pennsylvania, many swimming pool stay covered until the end of May. This makes sense since residents primarily enjoy swimming pools from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, if a swimming pool cover collects water and leaf debris, it starts producing mosquitoes in early April. The sun helps warm up this water so these mosquitoes emerge as adults just in time to be a pest during Memorial Day weekend outdoor activities.
Prepare to be mosquito free now.
If you have a pool cover collecting water, it is recommended that the cover be removed as soon as possible in the spring. If not, make sure to remove any standing water on the cover weekly to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. When removing a swimming pool cover, be sure to dry it out completely and fold it up for storage inside. Left outside, a pool cover may still collect water and be a source of breeding mosquitoes. Some mosquito species such as the Asian Tiger lay their eggs before water is present and then they hatch when it rains.
While you are outside, take time to inspect the rest of your yard for other potential mosquito breeding sources. Keep in mind mosquito larvae prefer shallow water with decomposing organic material. A tire, bucket, or flower pot can produce hundreds of mosquitoes during one season. Dispose of tires properly and store other items inside when not in use. A little prevention now will help reduce the risk of bites and even diseases transmitted by mosquitoes to humans, pets, and other animals.
For More Information
What can you do if you still have mosquito concerns? Contact your local county coordinator on the Pennsylvania West Nile Virus Control Program website.
Until next time,