Phoenixville To Be Sprayed To Control Spread Of West Nile Virus

PHOENIXVILLE, PA — Phoenixville will be sprayed with chemicals to control the mosquito population in the area and the spread of West Nile Virus in the area on Thursday, the Chester County Health Department announced.

The borough joins several local municipalities which will also be sprayed this week, including Royersford, Limerick, Pottstown, and two parts of Upper Providence. The spraying was recommended by health officials after mosquito samples in the area tested positive for the virus.

Spraying will take place on Aug. 31 from 7:45 p.m. to 11 p.m. Biomist will be sprayed from a truck-mounted sprayer at a rate of one ounce per acre. This is slightly higher than the rate (.75) typically used in nearby Montgomery County.

On the map below, the areas which will be sprayed is highlighted in purple:

Health officials said that measures are taken to ensure the spray does not impact aquatic life and bees. Sprayers are turned off near bodies of water and apiaries, and spraying is always done at night when mosquitoes are active and bees are less active.

Residents in West Chester rallied against local mosquito spraying over the weekend, citing its environmental and human health risks. Health departments throughout the region maintain that spraying is done with guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; guidelines which some activists do not are up to date with the latest science.

A rain date for this spraying is set for Sept. 5 from 7:45 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The risk of being infected with West Nile from a mosquito is very low, officials said, but residents are still urged to take simple precautions, like using repellent and removing standing water from their property.

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West Nile Virus typically causes fever but can lead to neurological illness in extremely rare cases.

For more details on what residents can do to limit mosquito populations and protect themselves from the virus, see here.

Patch file photo

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Originally published August 30, 2017.