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Governor Rendell Proposes County Grants to Combat West Nile Virus, Protect Public Health
Date:3/31/2008

ajor method of mosquito control, the naturally-occurring bacteria Bti and Bsph are used. These bacteria attack the digestive system of the mosquito larvae, and have no effect on people, animals or plants.

Another larval control product is the insect juvenile hormone, methoprene, which prevents the mosquito larvae from developing into adults. The products used to kill adult mosquitoes, likewise, are selected based on their environmental sensitivity and are applied so they do not harm people, animals, or plants.

DEP will administer the West Nile Virus surveillance and control program for Forest County this year, with funding coming directly from the department's West Nile Virus budget. DEP has also contracted for a private firm to conduct the program in Lycoming County, at a cost of $54,600. Pike and Susquehanna counties' programs will be run in a combined $61,600 grant.

DEP Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty said citizens can play a major role in controlling the mosquito populations by helping to eliminate breeding grounds for the insects.

"We need people to help us in this fight by remembering the slogan, 'Dump it, drain it, treat it,'" said McGinty. "Dump it if it has water in it; drain it if it can be drained; and treat it if it has standing water. After just a few days, standing water can become a mosquito breeding ground."

McGinty also urged people to wear insect repellant containing DEET when outside in warm weather.

Governor Rendell's proposed fiscal year 2008-09 budget also includes more than $7 million for the West Nile Virus Control Program, which will allow DEP to continue its mission of protecting against threats to human health and safety. The proposed appropriation reflects the historical funding requests of the counties, and will save the state $571,000 in operational costs for the program, without impacting surveillance and control efforts.

For more information on West Nile Virus, visit '/>"/>

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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