From Rockland County Health Dept: Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert inform residents that the Health Department began treating catch basins and storm drains this week to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the standing water inside of these structures. Work will continue throughout the County and will be completed by the end of the month.
If you see staff on the roads in County vehicles driving slowly doing these treatments, please be patient. Also, try to avoid parking over storm drains while County staff are doing the treatment work so that they can access the catch basins more easily.
"Though mosquitoes are usually just thought of as an annoying pest, they can sometimes spread disease, such as West Nile Virus or Zika Virus. The West Nile Virus has been found in local mosquitoes, and Rockland has cases of the virus in people spread from local mosquitoes. To date, the Zika virus has not been found in local mosquitoes, and our only cases of Zika to date are from people who have traveled to areas where the Zika Virus is spreading," said Dr. Ruppert.
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in or near stagnant (still) water, and their offspring (called larva) "grow up" in water before emerging as adult mosquitoes that fly and bite. Since the West Nile virus outbreak in 1999, the Health Department has been collecting, identifying and tracking mosquitoes, both in their adult and larval stages, and providing education and free mosquito control products to the public to reduce the mosquito population.
The larval mosquito control aspect of the program focuses on reducing Rockland's mosquito population at the larval stage during the spring and summer months through the identification and monitoring of over 1,000 mosquito-breeding sites and approximately 50,000 road-side catch basins throughout the County, and treating them as needed. In addition, program staff conduct routine and complaint-based inspections at many commercial properties that are considered "high risk" for mosquito breeding, including tire-storage facilities, landscaper yards, municipal storage yards, outdoor swimming pool facilities, horse farms, marinas, and garden centers, as well as respond to complaints against private residential properties.
Residents can help by checking their property for ANY items that can hold water and get rid of the items or empty the water out and scrub the inside of the item at least once a week.
For more information call the Health Department at 845-364-3173 or visit http://bit.ly/2aXY0E4. To learn more about the Zika virus call the New York State Zika Information Line at 1-888-364-4723 or visit www.health.ny.gov/diseases/zika_virus/.