Pesticide-spraying trucks will once again be making the rounds through two areas of Queens on Tuesday night as the city continues its effort to kill mosquitoes and curb any potential outbreaks of the Zika virus.
The spraying is scheduled to take place from 10 p.m. Tuesday night, Aug. 23, to 6 a.m. the following morning in sections of Bayside, Flushing and Whitestone, as well as a small segment of Glendale bordering the Knollwood Park Cemetery, Mount Judah Cemetery and the Cemetery of the Evergreens. In the event of inclement weather, the spraying will take place during the same hours between Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 24-25.
It’s part of the Health Department’s efforts to curb the proliferation of mosquitoes that may carry the Zika virus, which has been linked to severe birth defects in the children of pregnant women who become infected. Although hundreds of New Yorkers have been infected with Zika after traveling to regions of the world where the virus is prolific, no infected mosquitoes have been detected thus far in New York City.
The spraying also aims to curb the spread of the West Nile virus, another mosquito-borne illness that was first detected in the city in 1999. These areas were selected for spraying after the Health Department detected a rise in the number of mosquitoes infected with West Nile in this area.
“While we do not expect to find Zika in New York City’s mosquitoes, we are taking no chances. We are moving forward with a safe but aggressive plan to spray pesticide when we find significant numbers of mosquitoes that could possibly carry Zika,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “New Yorkers should continue to enjoy outdoor activities this summer while taking the usual precautions against mosquitoes, including wearing repellant and reporting standing water to 311.”
The Bayside-Flushing-Whitestone spraying area is bordered on the north by 12th Avenue, the Cross Island Parkway and Little Neck Bay; on the east by the Cross Island Parkway; on the south by 28th Avenue, the Clearview Expressway and 33rd Avenue; and on the west by 150th Street.
Spraying will be conducted in an area of Glendale south and east of Cooper and Cypress avenues from the Brooklyn/Queens border line (at Irving and Cooper Avenues) to the Jackie Robinson Parkway. Crews will also spray parts of eastern Brooklyn on Tuesday night.
A low concentration of DUET pesticide will be used during the spraying. While it does not pose an immediate danger to the public, the Health Department advises all residents in the spray area — especially those with respiratory ailments — to remain indoors with the windows closed while spraying is conducted. Air conditioners may be used, but the Health Department recommends that they be operated with the vents closed in order to reduce the potential for indoor exposure to the pesticide.
Anything left outside during spraying should be thoroughly washed with soap and water before reuse. If you are exposed to the pesticide, thoroughly wash all exposed skin and wash your clothing.
For more information, call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/health.