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Photo: Day Donaldson/Flickr
Photo: Day Donaldson/Flickr
Aedes albopictus is the cousin of the mosquito that is responsible for the Zika outbreak in Latin America and is also indigenous to New York.

It’s summer in Queens, which means that the city’s Health Department is relaunching its war on mosquitoes that could potentially carry two deadly viruses.

The Health Department announced on Monday that it would spray marshy areas of Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island between Wednesday, June 28, and Friday, June 30, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. with larvicide aimed at killing the critters before they hatch.

Marshy areas are targeted first because they are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes that, in recent years, have been known to carry the West Nile virus. The city has been conducting such larvicide and pesticide spraying since 1999, when the virus was first detected in New York City; mosquito samples taken from Staten Island earlier this year were found to be infected with West Nile, according to the Staten Island Advance.

The city’s efforts to kill mosquitoes took on a greater importance last year due to the global Zika virus outbreak, which has been known to cause microcephaly to infants born to mothers who were infected while pregnant. Zika has not been detected in any New York City mosquitoes, but the Health Department noted some local mosquitoes have the potential of transmitting the virus should they become infected.

In Queens, low-flying helicopters will spray VectoBac GS across the following marshy areas of the borough:

  • Alley Pond Park: Areas bounded by Douglaston Parkway and 240th Street to the east; Northern Boulevard to the north; Cross Island Parkway and East Hampton Boulevard to the west; and Grand Central Parkway to the south.
  • Abandoned Flushing Airport in College Point: Areas bounded by Whitestone Expressway to the east; 20th Avenue to the north; 130th Avenue and Ulmer Street to the west; and Ulmer Street and 28th Avenue to the south.
  • Dubos Point and Edgemere Park in the Rockaways: Areas bounded by Norton Basin to the east; Mott Point to the north; Grass Hassock Channel to the west; and Beach 65th Street, DeCosta Aveue and Almeda Avenue to the south.
  • Brookville Park in Rosedale: Areas bounded by Huxley Street to the east; 149th Avenue to 225th Street, 148th Avenue to 230th Street and 147th Avenue to 235th Street to the north; 150th Road to the west; and Rockaway Boulevard to the south.
  • Kissena Park in Flushing: Areas bounded by 164th Street to the east; Oak and Rose Avenues to the north; Kissena Boulevard to the west; and Booth Memorial Avenue to the south.
A map of the spray locations in Queens and southeastern Brooklyn (maps courtesy of NYC Health Department)

A map of the spray locations in Queens and southeastern Brooklyn (maps courtesy of NYC Health Department)

Even with the spraying, the Health Department reminds residents that mosquitoes can breed in any standing water. Residents should make every effort to remove standing water from their properties and also use insect repellent when spending time outside this summer.

For additional information, click here or call 311.

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