Department of Health announces aerial spraying in areas of New York to reduce risk of West Nile virus
The New York Department of Health said on Wednesday it will begin its first aerial spray of the season to reduce mosquito activity and the risk of West Nile virus from June 1.
Spraying from a low-flying helicopter will take place over swamps and other non-residential areas of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
The health ministry said environmentally friendly pesticides approved by the Environmental Protection Agency will be sprayed on mosquito breeding grounds, if any, throughout the season.
Spraying will take place Tuesday, June 1 to Thursday, June 3 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., weather permitting. The ministry added that if three days are allotted for spraying, it may be completed in less time.
In the event of bad weather, aerial spraying will be delayed from Friday June 4 and Monday June 7 to Tuesday June 8 at the same times.
Image courtesy of the New York City Department of Health
The department said it was monitoring mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus and that to date, no human cases of West Nile virus have been reported this season.
Mosquitoes can breed in standing water that has been standing for more than five days in hot weather, experts say. The existing hot and humid weather conditions can lead to an increase in the mosquito population.
The ministry encourages New Yorkers to remove any standing water from their properties, have containers capable of collecting water, protect their homes from mosquitoes, and take precautions when spending time outdoors .