Mosquitoes with West Nile Virus have been discovered in a Lower Merion pond, the township's first positive test of the year.
The affected mosquitoes were found in a trap Tuesday at the Remington Basin, on Remington Road and Warick Road in Wynnewood, officials said. Two different species of mosquito, culex pipens and culex restuans, tested positive for the virus, according to state records.
County spokesman Frank Custer said more mosquito traps will be placed at the Remington Basin and in other nearby areas. If more mosquitoes are found to test positive, crews will begin a spray program to kill them, "but right now, that's not warranted," Custer said.
State records show the Lower Merion positive test is one of three in Montgomery County in 2012, all found in mosquitoes. The others were in Pottstown and Montgomery Township in late May.
Five positive tests for West Nile Virus were reported in Lower Merion in 2011, but later in the summer: four in late July and one in mid-August, according to state records.
The entire state has reported 66 mosquitoes, two birds and one horse with the virus this year; there have been no human cases to date.
Last year, Montgomery County saw 50 cases of West Nile Virus when a mosquito pool in Pottstown was reported to have tested positive, according to a statement issued on May 25.
The state's West Nile Virus website provides guidance on how to avoid infection, mostly by preventing mosquitoes from having places to breed in and around one's home.
The state's tips include:
- Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have collected on your property.
- Pay special attention to discarded tires. Stagnant water in tires are where most mosquitoes breed.
- Have clogged roof gutters cleaned every year, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the drains. Roof gutters can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.
- Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use. Stagnant water in a wading pool becomes a place for mosquitoes to breed.
- Turn over wheelbarrows and don't let water stagnate in birdbaths. Both provide breeding habitats for domestic mosquitoes.
- Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens can become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools not in use. A swimming pool left untended by a family on vacation for a month can produce enough mosquitoes to result in neighborhood-wide complaints. Mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on pool covers.