Minnows for Mosquitos

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 WPCNR THE MOSQUITO COAST From  Westchester County Health Department. May 7, 2018:

To help residents keep their backyards free of mosquito breeding sites, the Westchester County Department of Health will give away free minnows (shown in above photo) for residential ponds and water features, along with mosquito dunks, advice and strategies to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile Virus, starting Friday.

These will be available at the Westchester County Airport, 2 Loop Road, West Harrison, 10604, as follows:

  • Friday, May 11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 12, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Friday, May 18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Residents with ornamental ponds can add fathead minnows to the water. The minnows eat mosquito larvae, preventing them from maturing into biters. Dunks serve the same purpose in birdbaths, rain barrels and unused pools.

Residents who plan to pick up minnows should bring a bucket or pail; minnows will be distributed in watertight plastic bags. To keep the minnows viable, residents should plan to bring them straight home and release them immediately into ponds with at least eight inches of water.

“With their hearty appetites, this baitfish can keep mosquitos from breeding in your pond and biting you in your own backyard,” said Sherlita Amler, MD, Commissioner of Health.

Any resident can help reduce the mosquito population, even without a pond.

“Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in a puddle, a flowerpot saucer or an old tire, so it’s extremely helpful to clear your yard and the pavement around your home of buckets, pails and toys that collect standing water and pour out any water that remains after it rains,” Amler added.

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, download the “Keep Healthy and Bug Off” brochure at http://health.westchestergov.com.

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