2004-07-30 / Front Page

Mosquitoes Take a Bite Out Of Quality of Life In Arverne

By Carrie Jones

A mass of huge mosquitoes is keeping residents of Arverne trapped behind screen doors and windows this summer.

“We’re suffering,” said Arverne Civic Association member Sarah Colson.

Colson and resident Richard Ames mentioned repeated attempts by Arverne residents to get help from city government.

“ [I feel we are victims of] benign neglect by city agencies and elected officials,” said Colson.

“We met with all the elected officials [including Councilman James Sanders and Jessica Morris of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene],” said Colson, “and we haven’t seen any results yet. None.”

According to Colson, many people in the Arverne community have compromised immune systems and can be seriously affected by mosquito bites.

Ames stated that signs declaring, “This area has been treated for mosquitoes” were put up near Dubos Point, but he says spraying never took place.

Larvacide, which kills the mosquitoes before they hatch, is “constantly” being applied, according to Community Board 14 District Manager Jonathon Gaska, and the signs may have been referring to that program.

Quality of life remains the major issue for both Arverne and Bayswater residents.

“People should be able to use their yards, children should be able to play outside without having to constantly put chemicals [on their properties],” said Colson.

The Arverne Civic Association suggests that neighbors cut their lawn weekly, remove all garbage from yards, and get rid of all standing water.

“We have to do our part too,” Colson said.

She expressed concern for recent homebuyers in Arverne.

“Beware to new homeowners. They don’t know what they are getting into,” she said.

Commissioner Tom Frieden, of the New York City Health Department will be addressing this issue on August 9, at the next Arverne Civic Association meeting.

The Health Department was not available for comment on the mosquito issue by press time.

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