Mosquitoes trapped on Austintown schools’ wetland area tested positive for the West Nile Virus
The Mahoning County District Board of Health informed the Austintown school district that mosquitoes in traps in the wetland area of the campus tested positive for West Nile Virus.
The health department applied a larvicide to the areas infected to prevent the hatching of mosquitoes. The health department also inspected several retention ponds on the school campus for standing water, which can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Although environmental education is strongly encouraged in the district, the administration is not allowing students to use the wetlands for education this fall, said schools Superintendent Vincent Colaluca. He also said warning signs will be posted to notify students and that the school district is working with an insect control company to fog areas on the property to get rid of any existing adult mosquitoes.
The district also plans to purchase EPA-approved spray for athletes whose practice fields are located near the wetland. Colaluca said Austintown schools will continue to work closely with the health department to monitor the property.