DEP Sprays for West Nile Virus in Lycoming County

By Eyewitness News , Posted By: Nick Hughes

Published 07/23 2014 09:39PM

Updated 07/23 2014 11:23PM

Loyalsock Township, Lycoming County-Summertime means mosquito season is upon us.

There have been two confirmed cases of the West Nile Virus in Lycoming County so far this summer. 

The effort is underway to combat the threat of the virus.
It's a warm summer afternoon in Lycoming County where families can swim in Lycoming Creek, or play horseshoes in the backyard.

But staying out too long extends the fun into the mosquito hour.

''Every time we get a couple of feet raised in the creek, big puddles of water laying sand dunes behind my house. Stagnant water laying in sand dunes is an absolute breeding ground for mosquitoes,'' Jay Johnston of Old Lycoming Township said.

''Sometimes, we just light tiki torches and spray down bug spray,'' Kristie Houseknecht of Williamsport said.

Bug spray is a good idea.

On a larger scale, the state is loading up trucks and bringing out the heavy equipment after samples showed signs of danger.

''Not only high numbers of mosquitoes, but in some of our samples that we collected from around the area we found west nile virus in some of the mosquitoes as well," Jay Maneval of PA Dept. of Environmental Protection told Eyewitness News.

The Department of Environmental Protection won't just be using pickup trucks.

They will be riding around on ATVs.

That way they can get a little bit closer to their targeted areas.

Heshbon Park is a good place to start.

If it's not too windy, the spray is very effective and kills the critters as they fly through the air.

Jay Maneval of DEP says people at home can do their part by removing standing water around the house.

''Standing water can be in flower pots, wheelbarrows, if your gutters don't drain properly. All those areas can breed tons of mosquitoes,'' Maneval said.

''I really don't want it in our neighborhood. I am glad they are spraying it and I am glad someone is worried about it,'' Shawn Fillman of Williamsport said.

So far mosquito samples have tested positive for the West Nile Virus in 24 counties around the state.

DEP says there have been no confirmed human cases in the state this year.

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