Monday, July 6, 2020

NYC to Spray to Kill Mosquitos to Prevent West Nile Virus

City to Spray Pelham Bay Park, Co-op City to Prevent West Nile
File Photo

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The city will spray areas of Pelham Bay and Co-op City this week to reduce mosquitos to prevent the outbreak of West Nile Virus.

To reduce mosquito activity and the risk of West Nile virus, the Health Department will conduct its first aerial larviciding treatment of the season to marshes and wetland areas of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island from Wednesday, July 8 to Friday, July 10 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., weather permitting. The helicopter will treat only nonresidential areas. 

While three days are allotted for the aerial larviciding, the application may be completed in less time. In case of bad weather, application will be delayed until from Monday, July 13 to Wednesday, July 15, 2020 during the same hours.
Map of the areas to be sprayed to prevent West Nile Virus.

“While we hope everyone is getting outside and carefully enjoying the summer season during the ongoing public health emergency, we want to ensure that everyone remains safe from mosquito-borne diseases,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Aerial larviciding is a safe and effective way to do just that.”

The Health Department monitors mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus. To date, no human cases of West Nile virus have been reported this season. 

During warm weather, mosquitoes can breed in any still water that has been standing for more than five days. In the targeted areas, existing hot and wet weather conditions can cause a rise in mosquito populations. Due to size and limited accessibility, these areas will be treated using a low-flying helicopter. 

For the aerial application in marshes and wetland areas of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, the Health Department will use environmentally friendly larvicides to kill young mosquitoes before they grow into adults. VectoBac® GS contains naturally occurring bacteria and will be used for this application. This product has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and will be used on mosquito breeding grounds throughout the mosquito season.

The most effective way to control mosquitoes is to eliminate any standing water. New Yorkers are encouraged to mosquito-proof their homes and take precautions when spending time outdoors.

Reducing exposure to mosquitoes
  • Use an approved insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under three), or products that contain the active ingredient IR3535.
  • Make sure windows have screens. 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 For more information about West Nile virus, call 311 or visit

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