The mission of the Beaver County Conservation District is to provide leadership in natural resource management through outreach, education, and technical assistance. As part of the district, Beaver County Vector-borne Disease Control Program focuses on mosquito and tick surveillance, vector management, and public outreach/education.

Beaver County Vector-Borne Disease Control Program focuses on mosquito/tick surveillance, and public outreach/education

While insects have benefits, such as being part of the food web and acting as pollinators for plants, ticks and mosquitoes can be a biting nuisance and more importantly transmit diseases that can make you sick. The Beaver County Vector-borne Disease Control Program collects samples of tick and mosquito populations from Beaver County communities to assess disease transmission potential.  Funding for the collection, testing, and control of mosquito populations is supported through a grant provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

If you see Beaver County Conservation District biologists this season dragging a white cloth at local parks or setting mosquito traps, we are collecting tick and mosquito specimens. While our organization actively monitors tick and mosquito populations, we strongly encourage all residents to reduce habitat areas on their properties. To reduce mosquito habitat, it is important to drain unused containers like buckets, uncovered trash cans, and litter and debris that can hold stagnant water for longer periods of time. Specific areas around homes that can hold water are unused tires, flowerpots, birdbaths, pet bowls, outdoor children’s toys, as well as gutters that may be clogged with organic debris and holding water. Mosquitoes lay eggs in water, even containers as small as a bottle cap! 

To reduce tick habitat, you can create a tick-safe zone around your home.  For example: remove leaf litter and clear grasses and brush from around your home and the edge of the lawn, and place mulch between lawns and wooded areas to keep ticks off the places you work and play the most.

As you enjoy the outdoors this summer, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Beaver County Vector-borne Disease Control Program recommends the following steps to prevent bites from mosquitoes and ticks:

  • Insect repellent, when used properly, can keep mosquitoes and ticks off your skin.  We recommend using repellents that are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Adults should help apply repellents to children under 12.  Some great resources for repellent information;
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks to keep bugs off your skin.
  • Perform daily tick checks after being outdoors (even in your own yard).  Inspect all areas of your body carefully, including armpits, scalp, and behind the knees.  Remove ticks immediately using fine-tipped tweezers.
  • Early morning, late afternoon, and early evening are peak times for mosquitoes that spread West Nile Virus.  It’s especially important to use insect repellent if you’re outdoors at these times.
  • Check for and repair holes in window and door screens on homes.

Avoiding mosquitoes and ticks doesn’t mean that you must stay inside. Enjoy the outdoors, just remember to protect yourself (and your pets).


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