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Mosquit-no: County health department to start mosquito treatment Monday

This 2006 file photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito.
James Gathany/AP
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This 2006 file photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito.

The Allegheny County Health Department plans to treat stormwater catch basins throughout the city starting June 5.

The treatments are slated to run through June 9 and will be done from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., but the schedule could change if the forecast calls for heavy rains.

The health department will be treating about 10,000 catch basins in portions of the East End, West End, North Side and South Side, all of which have had a history of West Nile virus activity.

“Catch basins are popular breeding sites for mosquitoes in urban environments,” ACHD Housing and Community Environment Program Manager Tim Murphy explained in a statement. “Mosquitoes that breed in catch basins have the potential for spreading diseases, such as West Nile virus, to residents.”

The health department plans to use a microbial mosquito larvicide called FourStar, which is non-toxic to people, pets and aquatic life but kills mosquito larvae.

This is the 22nd consecutive year ACHD will be conducting the treatments.

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The public can best protect themselves from mosquitoes by removing standing water in yards, using screens on open doors and windows, and using insect repellant, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

“Residents can greatly reduce the mosquito population by eliminating and treating potential breeding sites on their properties,” said Murphy. “Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a half inch of stagnant water, so be sure to pay close attention to potential breeding sites like stagnant water in tires, unused swimming pools, buckets and clogged gutters.”

To report a potential mosquito breeding site, call the Health Department’s Housing and Community Environment Program at 412-350-4046.

Julia Zenkevich reports on Allegheny County government for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at