DOH Issues Mosquito Advisory
In response to intensifying West Nile activity, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) scheduled ground-based spraying of pesticides last week in Rockaway and other sections of Queens.
DOHMH advises New Yorkers, especially those over 50, to take personal precautions against mosquitoes.
If outside during the hours between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, wear protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks.
Consider the use of insect repellant containing DEET. Use DEET according to manufacturer’s directions.
Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
To reduce mosquitoes around your home, it is recommended that you eliminate any standing water that collects on your property; dispose of containers that can collect standing water (e.g. empty garbage containers and lids, buckets, cans, flower pots, items where water collects); make sure roof gutters drain properly.
Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs, keep empty and cover if not in use; drain water that collects in pool covers; change water in birdbaths every 3 to 4 days; turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use; remove discarded tires on your property; and remind or help neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their properties.
For pesticide spraying activities this year, DOHMH is using Anvil (Sumithrin), a synthetic pyrethroid utilized in mosquito control efforts.
A Final Environmental Impact Statement completed in the summer of 2001 found that there is no significant risk of adverse impact to human health associated with the proper use of pyrethroids.
The use of pesticides in New York City is conducted in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) guidelines.
Precautions are advised to avoid direct exposure to pesticides and to reduce the risk of reactions.
Some individuals are sensitive to pesticides. Persons with asthma or other respiratory conditions are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since there is a possibility that spraying should worsen these conditions.
Air conditioners may remain on. But if you wish to reduce the possibility of exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner’s vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.
If outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, they may be washed with soap and water to reduce the possibility of exposure.
Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water.
Anyone experiencing adverse reactions to pesticides should seek medical care or call 3-1-1 or the NYC Poison Control Center at (212) POISONS (764-7667).