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Getting 'Extra Miles' From Grant Dollars

Posted: September 24, 2014

Penn State Extension in Lehigh County used mobile marketing for mosquito awareness.
LANta bus with a West Nile virus bus advertisement.

LANta bus with a West Nile virus bus advertisement.

Prior to the introduction of West Nile virus to North America in 1999, mosquitoes were just a summer nuisance. Mosquito-borne diseases were a distant worry. A few Pennsylvania counties maintained limited programs, but mosquito control was largely nonexistent.

Since 2000, the Department of Environmental Protection has been providing grant funds for West Nile virus surveillance and control programs in various counties throughout the state. In District 20, Lehigh County’s West Nile Resource Center is just finishing its 15th season of providing a comprehensive service to the 355,000 citizens living in very diverse locales.

This past summer, Extension got some serious “mileage” out of grant funds by developing far-reaching educational displays. For 10 weeks, informational advertisements on eight public transit buses drove throughout Lehigh and Northampton Counties. This traveling visual reminder helped reinforce the concept that mosquito control is a community effort.