To eliminate mosquito breeding sites and prevent the spread of West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, the Westchester County Health Department will offer free minnows, mosquito dunks and “Keep Healthy and Bug Off” brochures to residents on six Mosquito Control Days this month.
Residents with ornamental ponds should add the fathead minnows to the water to keep it from becoming a mosquito breeding site. The dunks serve the same purpose in birdbaths, rain barrels and unused pools.
Health Department staff will be available to answer questions and give out “Keep Healthy and Bug Off” brochures, which offer advice on how residents can prevent mosquito bites and eliminate standing water around their homes to keep mosquitoes from breeding nearby.
“We’ll show residents things they can do to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes,” said Peter DeLucia, Assistant Commissioner for Public Health Protection. “We’ll also give them minnows and dunks to prevent mosquitoes from breeding on their property. Minnows are our natural ally in the battle against West Nile Virus and they’re very popular with residents. They eat many times their weight in mosquito larvae.”
Residents with ponds who want the minnows should bring a bucket or pail to 2 Loop Road at the Westchester County Airport. The building is the first right from the airport access road. Minnows will be distributed in watertight plastic bags, and residents should plan to bring them straight home and release them into ponds with at least eight inches of water.
Wednesday – Friday, May 4-6, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday – Friday, May 19-20, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To eliminate breeding sites, the health department will begin to apply larvicide to catch basins that hold standing water but are clear of debris starting Monday, May 9th.
Larvaciding teams will evaluate and treat as needed, all catch basins on county and municipal roads throughout the county over the next few months.
To help prevent mosquitoes from breeding, residents should eliminate standing water from around their properties, especially after it rains. Large areas of standing water on public property that cannot easily be removed should be reported to the Health Department by calling (914) 813-5000.
“If we use all the available strategies, we can minimize our exposure to mosquito bites and reduce the mosquito population in Westchester, but we need residents to help,” said Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD. “Please remove from your yard or turn over anything that could hold standing water and make use of the dunks and minnows we are offering.”
To learn more about mosquito prevention, visit the Health Department’s website at www.westchestergov.com/health