While no mosquitoes in New York City have been found carrying the Zika virus, the Health Department will target parts of Brooklyn and Queens that boast high numbers of a certain type of mosquito, as well as spraying for West Nile Virus as a precautionary measure.
Parts of Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Gravesend and Seagate will be sprayed with low concentrations of adulticide (DUET™ and Anvil® 10+10) from 10 p.m. on Wednesday, August 31 to to 6 a.m. the next morning to combat the presence of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes – the type of mosquito that could potentially transmit the virus.
“While we do not expect to find Zika in New York City’s mosquitoes, we are taking no chances,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “We are moving forward with a safe but aggressive plan to spray pesticide when we find significant numbers of mosquitoes that could possibly carry Zika. New Yorkers should continue to enjoy outdoor activities this summer while taking the usual precautions against mosquitoes, including wearing repellent and reporting standing water to 311.”
The spraying is part of an aggressive three-year, $21 million plan to protect New Yorkers from Zika, according to the Health Department, although the agency remains cautiously optimistic that Zika virus will not be found in mosquitoes in New York City.
To protect themselves better from possible exposure to mosquitoes, the Health Department is advising New Yorkers to:
- Consider limiting time outdoors between dusk and dawn in areas with significant mosquito infestations.
- Wear protective clothing when outdoors, and use an approved insect repellent containing picaridin, DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under three), or products that contain the active ingredient IR3535.
- Make sure windows have screens and repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
- Eliminate any standing water from your property and dispose of containers that can collect water. Standing water is a violation of the New York City Health Code.
- Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty or covered if not in use; drain water that collects in pool covers.
- Report standing water by calling 311 or visiting nyc.gov.