Officials with the Berks County West Nile Program continue their efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

The program will conduct an ultra-low volume spray operation in parts of Birdsboro next Tues., Aug. 6, officials announced Thursday.

Weather-permitting, a specially-equipped truck will spray Biomist 3+15 ULV at a rate of 0.75 ounces per acre, said officials, adding that the product is designed to provide quick, effective control of adult mosquito populations.

If the weather is unfavorable for spraying Tuesday, it will be pushed back to Wednesday.

The operation's goal, officials said, is to reduce high populations of mosquitoes that can transmit the West Nile virus.

Nine out of nearly 700 mosquitoes that have been tested for West Nile virus in Berks County so far this summer have come back positive, said officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The West Nile-carrying mosquitoes were found in Cumru Township on July 10 and July 17; Washington Township on July 11; Exeter Township on July 16; Richmond Township on July 18; Bally on July 19; Birdsboro on July 24 and two in Reading on July 25.

An American crow that was found in Oley Township on July 22 also tested positive for the virus, officials said.

So far, no humans in Pennsylvania have tested positive for the virus this year.

According to the DEP, individuals can take a number of precautions around their homes to help eliminate mosquito-breeding areas, including:

  • Dispose of cans, buckets, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers that hold water.
  • Properly dispose of discarded tires that can collect water. Stagnant water is where most mosquitoes breed.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers.
  • Have clogged roof gutters cleaned every year as the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug drains.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
  • Turn over wheelbarrows and don't let water stagnate in birdbaths.
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools not in use and remove any water that may collect on pool covers. If a resident has stagnant pools of water on their property, they can buy BTI products at lawn and garden, outdoor supply, home improvement and other stores. This naturally occurring bacterium kills mosquito larvae, but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.