WPCNR COUNTY HEALTH NEWS. From the Westchester County Department of Health. May 2, 2017:
To fight the bite and prevent mosquitoes from multiplying, the Westchester County Health Department will give away another 200 pounds of fathead minnows this Friday and Saturday to Westchester property owners who have ponds.
The minnows are part of the county’s mosquito control efforts, which include applying larvicide to county catch basins and encouraging residents to dump out standing water on their property after every rainfall to discourage mosquitoes from breeding. Mosquitoes don’t fly far, so those backyard biters probably hatched in water around your home.
“Don’t be a mosquito’s next meal,” said Sherlita Amler, MD, Commissioner of Health. “After it rains, dump and drain standing water around your home. Secure the lids on trash cans, turn over buckets and kiddy pools or store them indoors. Keep your gutters clear and tip the water out of flower pot saucers. All it takes is a teaspoon of water for mosquitoes to lay their eggs, and in about 10 days they begin to bite. Please do your part to reduce the mosquito population throughout the season to avoid mosquito-borne viruses.”
To help eliminate mosquitoes, people with ponds should bring a bucket or a pail to Loop Road, Building Two at the Westchester County Airport on Friday, May 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Saturday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The building is the first right from the airport access road. The minnows will be distributed in watertight plastic bags.
“Fathead minnows can eat many times their weight in mosquito larvae and they can often last for several seasons, said Peter DeLucia, Assistant Commissioner for Public Health Protection. “They’re great little soldiers in the fight against West Nile Virus.”
The minnows reduce the mosquito population by eating mosquito larvae and pupae before they emerge into adult mosquitoes. They thrive in ornamental ponds that lack fish and can help reduce the spread of West Nile Virus because culex pipiens, the mosquito that can be a carrier of West Nile Virus, breeds in standing water, such as ponds and containers. They should be released right away into ponds that have a minimum of eight to twelve inches of water.
The health department will begin larviciding next week. Teams will evaluate and treat as needed all catch basins on county and municipal roads throughout the county over the next few months.
Large areas of standing water on public property that cannot easily be removed should be reported to the Health Department at (914) 813-5000.
For more information on this topic download the “Keep Healthy and Bug Off” brochure at http://health.westchestergov.com. You can also like us at www.facebook.com/wchealthdept , follow us at www.twitter.com/wchealthdept or call us at (914) 813-5000.