Health Department to treat Queens against West Nile

maps marsh mosquito spraying
Photo courtesy of the NYC Health Department

Select non-residential marshland areas in Queens are set to be aerially sprayed with non-chemical treatments next week to reduce the number of mosquitoes potentially carrying the West Nile virus.

Alley Creek in Alley Pond Park, the abandoned Flushing Airport in College Point and wetland areas in Dubos Point and Edgemere Park in the Rockaways are among areas to be treated with larvicide sprayed from low-flying helicopters, according to the city’s Health Department.

The treatment will be applied on Tuesday through Thursday, July 7, 8 and 9, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Wednesday through Friday, July 8, 9 and 10.

The natural marsh areas to be treated are common breeding grounds for mosquitoes, which reproduce during warm weather in any still water standing for more than four days. The Health Department monitors for West Nile virus, and applies pesticides throughout the summer months to deal with high mosquito populations and minimize the risk of the pests spreading the disease.

Although there have been no human cases reported this year, mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus have been found in New York City as recently as June, with some infected mosquitoes collected from Glen Oaks.

The city will be using environmentally friendly larvicides made from naturally occurring bacteria to kill immature mosquitoes before they grow into fully formed adults. VectoBac™ GS, VectoMax™ FG and/or VectoLex™ FG will be used, and have all been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.