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Spraying of mosquito 'breeding grounds' starts in Allegheny County

| Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 11:13 a.m.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Dave Schultise, environmental health specialist with the Allegheny Health Department, throws a block of pesticide into a sewer grate in Bloomfield, Tuesday June 10, 2014. The pesticide is made of hormones that inhibit the growth of mosquitoes and keeps them from maturing enough to reproduce as a means of controlling the mosquito population.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Pete Todaro, environmental health specialist with the Allegheny Health Department, puts a placard on a Health Department van, Tuesday June 10, 2014. The pesticide is made of hormones that inhibit the growth of mosquitoes and keeps them from maturing enough to reproduce as a means of controlling the mosquito population.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Pete Todaro, environmental health specialist with the Allegheny Health Department, throws a block of pesticide into a sewer grate in Bloomfield, Tuesday June 10, 2014. The pesticide is made of hormones that inhibit the growth of mosquitoes and keeps them from maturing enough to reproduce as a means of controlling the mosquito population.

Crews will spray pesticides on about 10,000 storm water catch basins in Pittsburgh to suppress mosquito breeding that could spread diseases including West Nile virus, the Allegheny County Health Department said Tuesday.

Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes during summer. Officials said the pesticides aren't toxic to people, pets and aquatic life. Basins that have been treated will be marked with bright green paint.

Treatments began Monday and will continue weekdays as needed from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Health officials urged residents to reduce the mosquito population by eliminating standing water near their homes.

West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes or mosquito pools in Beaver, Centre and Dauphin counties so far this year, according to Pennsylvania's West Nile Virus Control Program.

In 2013, the virus was found in 42 Pennsylvania counties. There were 11 human cases of the virus.

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