Close on the heels of the second death due linked to the West Nile virus, Baltimore County officials have announced plans to spray areas of Catonsville on Wednesday evening to reduce mosquitos that carry the virus.
Weather permitting, the Maryland Department of Agriculture will conduct mosquito sprayings with the insecticide permethrin in Catonsville after 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 19.
Officials recommend that residents in the affected area to stay indoors during spraying to minimize direct contact with the insecticide.
Mosquitoes can carry a number of diseases, including the West Nile virus, according to officials. In humans, the West Nile virus generally causes either no symptoms or a mild flu-like illness, but can also be fatal, officials said.
At least 25 cases of West Nile virus infection have been reported in 13 Maryland counties this year, according to health officials.
State health officials suggest these tips to reduce the risk of infection by West Nile virus:
1. Limit time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn
2. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when going outdoors
3. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent and follow the instructions on the product label. Repellents containing DEET are safe for use by adults and children when used according to package directions
4. Check that all window screens in your home or business are intact and do not contain holes. Repair any damaged screens
5. Remove all discarded tires from your property. If tire removal is not possible, puncture or cut tires to prevent water from collecting in them
6. Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or similar water-holding containers
7. Make sure roof gutters drain properly. Clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall
8. Drain water from pool covers
9. Change the water in birdbaths at least once a week
10. Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use
11. Eliminate any standing water that collects on your property
12. Remind or help neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their property
13. Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps covering boats, pools, etc. Arrange the tarp to allow water to drain
14. Pump out bilges in boats. Store canoes and small boats upside down
15. Remove outdoor pet food and water dishes that are not being used
16. Flush livestock water troughs twice a week
17. Do not leave garbage can lids upside down. Do not let water collect in the bottom of garbage cans or recycle bins
18. Check ornamental ponds, tree holes, and water-holding low areas for mosquito larvae