It’s Mosquito Season, First Aerial Larvicide Drops Announced

It’s Mosquito Season, First Aerial Larvicide Drops Announced

The city announced today that the following areas in Brooklyn will be part of the first set of seasonal efforts to reduce mosquito populations across the city.

Larviciding treatments will be dropped from low flying helicopters across marshes and wetland areas of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island from Wednesday, July 8 to Friday, July 10 between 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., weather permitting. Department of Health says that if the weather cooperates it will take less than three days, but have reserved Monday, July 13 to Wednesday, July 15, 2020, during the same hours, as a backup plan in case it does not.

Areas to be treated in Brooklyn are marsh areas bounded by Flatbush Avenue to the east; Avenue U to the north; Gerritsen Avenue to the west; and Belt Parkway to the south in Marine Park, and Fresh Creek Marsh areas bounded by Louisiana Avenue to the east; Stanley Avenue to the north;  East 108th Street to the west; and Belt Parkway to the south.

“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 in the announcement. “Aerial larviciding is a safe and effective way to do just that.”

The Health Department uses two methods of pesticide application – one to kill adult mosquitoes, and one to kill the larvae before they turn into mosquitoes.

The former, called adulticide, uses trucks to spray a pesticide in the evening in residential areas and parks when testing has shown a high risk to human health from mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus.  To date, no human cases of West Nile virus have been reported this season, the Department of Health informs.

For the aerial larviciding, DOH will drop VectoBac® GS that contains naturally occurring bacteria and has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.  They say that this larvicide is environmentally friendly and will be used on mosquito breeding grounds throughout the mosquito season.

Mosquitoes breed fast – just 5 days, warm weather and some standing water will substantially increase their population. In fact – standing water is a violation of the New York City Health Code and residents are encouraged to report standing water by calling 311 or visiting nyc.gov/health/wnv.

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