PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Allegheny County Health Department is seeing samples of the highest number of mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus since they began tracking the disease a decade ago.

A fine mist from a sprayer is helping to curb the spread of West Nile Virus in local neighborhoods.

With “stink juice” as bait, a huge pool of mosquitoes was trapped in a single night in Pitcairn.

“They have a flood water plain in the ballpark area, says Vector Control Specialist, Leah Lamonte, “and so I set the trap there and I trapped lots of mosquitoes.”

Those mosquitoes go to the State Health Lab to test for West Nile.

No human cases of West Nile have been reported in western Pennsylvania, but eight persons have been infected in the central and eastern parts of the state.

And in Allegheny County, 121 mosquitoes have tested positive – twice last year’s number.

Mosquitoes like stagnant water plus warm, dry or wet weather.

Beginning at about 8:30 p.m., the Bloomfield neighborhood along the East Busway will be treated with pesticide, but county entomologist Bill Todaro says no precautions are necessary.

“Excellent products now that are very safe to people and pets and gardens and stuff.”

Since mid-July, the Health Department has sprayed neighborhoods in Morningside, Highland Park, the South Side and Mount Washington, East and West Ends, Edgewood and Wilkinsburg.

Says, Todaro, West Nile Virus is not something to trifle with. “Neurological cases go one for years. People are disabled for many, many years. It’s not, ‘I got the virus and it’s over’ type of deal.”

Old tires can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes – also buckets or poorly maintained kiddie pools. The Allegheny County Health Department wants to know about them.

And it’s advisable to use an insect repellant and avoid going outdoors between dusk and dawn – that’s when they like to bite.

Local Mosquitoes Test Positive For West Nile Virus (8/6/12)
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