Plan Underway in Peel to Reduce Risk of West Nile Virus
Prevention begins with simple steps by homeowners
BRAMPTON, ON. (June 7, 2010) – Summer has arrived and Peel Public Health is once again taking steps to minimize the impact of West Nile Virus (WNV) throughout the region.
At the heart of the Region’s Vector Borne-Disease (VBD) Prevention Plan is a regional surveillance program that oversees mosquito larvae reduction and also builds public awareness through education and community outreach.
To help protect residents from WNV, Peel Public Health has started surveying stagnant water sites on public property for mosquito larvae. If larvae are present, larviciding will be conducted. Larviciding of road side catch basins will begin on June 7 and be completed in four phases.
Peel will also be collecting and testing adult mosquitoes for the virus weekly from mid-June to the end of September.
“Although there is always the possibility of WNV in Peel, we believe the risk is greatly reduced through our surveillance program,” said Paul Callanan, Peel Region’s Director of Environmental Health. Mr. Callanan also emphasized the active role the public can play by reducing mosquito breeding areas and taking personal protection measures.
For homeowners, reducing mosquito breeding areas on their property can be done by:
- Clearing leaves and twigs from eavestroughs
- Changing water in birdbaths weekly
- Turning over wading pools when they are not in use
- Removing water that collects on pool covers and make sure the pool’s pump is circulating
- Ensuring flowerpot saucers, window boxes and planters drain properly
- Checking all windows and door screens to ensure there are no tears or holes
- Placing a fine mesh screen over rain barrels
- Fill in low depressions on lawn areas
- Emptying or disposing of containers that can hold water such as old tires, wheelbarrows, barrels, pails, toys and recycling bins.
“Stagnant water with a high organic level that sits for longer than seven days is an ideal breeding site for mosquitoes, especially as the weather gets warmer,” said Mr. Callanan. Stagnant water can be reported at 905-799-7700 or online at peel-bugbite.ca.
To reduce the risk of WNV, residents are reminded to:
- Avoid areas with high mosquito populations and take extra precautions at dusk and dawn when mosquito activity increases.
- Wear light-coloured clothing and cover exposed skin by wearing long sleeves, pants and a hat.
- Use a mosquito repellent and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
For more information about how to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and protect yourself and your family from WNV, visit peel-bugbite.ca.