PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This Spring was very wet in the region, and that means the mosquito population is going to explode. As a precaution, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is going to be spraying insecticide by the Philadelphia International Airport.

Weather permitting, the DEP will send out a helicopter early Wednesday to spray along both sides of I-95, at waste water treatment plants near Penrose Ferry Road and the Betsy Ross Bridge and in wetlands near the airport.

Deborah Fries, of the DEP, says on May 17th in Greene County, in the western part of the state, Pennsylvania detected its first case of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus. This year’s first detection was the earliest of the virus than on any other year on record in the state.

Fries says homeowners should do their part by getting rid of any standing water in their yards, and maybe even ditch the bird bath.

“Many people will not use a bird bath in the summer. If they have an ornamental pool, they will stock them with fish or aerate them to keep the larva from growing,” Fries said.

Fries also urges residents to wear insect repellant and long sleeves and long pants if they plan to be out in the evenings to avoid mosquito bites.

Fries says last year, 28 human cases of West Nile virus were reported in the state and 13 were in Philadelphia County.

Pennsylvania’s West Nile Virus Control Program

Reported by Kim Glovas, KYW Newsradio

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