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Astorino Unveils Zika, Mosquito Control Efforts in Westchester County

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Peter DeLucia, assistant commissioner for environmental health, discuss ways to reduce mosquito populations.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Peter DeLucia, assistant commissioner for environmental health, discuss ways to reduce mosquito populations. Photo Credit: Westchester County Government

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Westchester Executive Rob Astorino on Thursday presented Westchester’s plan to protect residents from the potential threat of Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases.

“Westchester County has a comprehensive plan in place to protect residents from Zika,” Astorino said. “There have been no locally acquired cases of Zika in Westchester. Nevertheless, I want to assure you that Westchester County is working diligently to address Zika. The county’s action plan includes education, surveillance and mosquito control.”

Joined by Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler and Peter DeLucia, assistant commissioner for environmental health, at the Kensico Dam playground in Valhalla, Astorino described the county’s strategies and encouraged residents to be proactive at home and on the go to reduce their risks of mosquito bites.

The county’s plan includes:

  • Giving residents free minnows that can eat mosquito larvae in their backyard ponds and water features.
  • Applying larvacide to catch basins on county and municipal roads, already covering half the county.
  • Doubling the number of mosquito trap sites and adding a new type of trap to attract the mosquitoes that could transmit Zika.
  • Targeting limited areas for ground spraying should a locally acquired case be confirmed or nearby mosquitoes test positive for Zika.

“Use EPA-registered insect repellents when outdoors, and always follow the label instructions,” Amler said. “Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeve shirts, long pants and socks. Don’t sleep with your windows open, unless the windows have screens in good condition. Prevent mosquito breeding sites around your home and visit the Health Department’s website for up to date health information, including our 'Keep Healthy and Bug Off' brochure.”

The Health Department is giving away free minnows for backyard ponds and water features and free larvacide tablets (commonly known as dunks) for birdbaths, planter drip trays, rain barrels and unused pools today through Saturday at the Westchester County Airport, Loop Road, Building 2:

  • Friday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Residents who miss these dates should call 888-364-4723.

Residents can report standing water in abandoned pools and elsewhere at 914-813-5000.

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