Zika Virus

 
 
 

What is Rockland County doing?

The Rockland County Department of Health (RCDOH) Zika Action Plan was developed in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines and with expertise from our decades-old, comprehensive mosquito control program. Since the West Nile virus outbreak in 1999, the RCDOH has been collecting, identifying and tracking mosquitoes, both in their adult and larval stages, and providing general mosquito education to the public in an effort to reduce the mosquito population. They offer free mosquito dunks to help property owners control mosquito breeding in swimming pools from April to October, and hold a free mosquito-eating fish giveaway event in the Spring. 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.

During the Spring and Summer months, RCDOH mosquito control teams will treat mosquito breeding sites such as swamps and storm drains to kill the mosquitoes breeding there. However, Rockland County residents are needed to help fight the Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger) mosquito, since they prefer to breed in objects that can hold water on your property, even ones that will hold less than one ounce of water (about two tablespoons). Its favorite places to lay eggs are backyard containers, such as birdbaths, flowerpot drip trays, toys, litter, and pets' water dishes. In fact, according to Rutgers University, one child's toy left outdoors could produce nearly 1,200,000 mosquitoes in a single summer!

 

What can residents do?

Follow these steps to prevent mosquitoes from breeding on your property:

  • Check your property for ANY items that can hold water. Even small items, such as drinking cups or soda cans, can produce mosquitoes. Get rid of the items or empty the water out and scrub the inside of the item at least once a week.
  • Drill drain holes in the bottoms of recycling containers, turn over wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use, and remove all discarded tires.
  • If you have a swimming pool that is not in use, drain the water off the cover or treat this standing water with Mosquito Dunks®. The dunks are available free of charge at the Health Department, Building D, 50 Sanatorium Road in Pomona, Monday - Friday, from April through October, from 9 am to 4 pm, while supplies last. It is important to know the size of your pool when coming to pick up your dunks.
  • Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs. For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
  • Use an outdoor flying insect spray where mosquitoes rest. Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid areas like under patio furniture, or under the carport or garage. When using insecticides, always follow label instructions.
  • If you have a septic tank, repair cracks or gaps. Cover open vent or plumbing pipes. Use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
  • Make sure that roof gutters drain properly.
  • Clear vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds and remove leaf debris from yards and gardens.
  • Get more Zika prevention information from the CDC
  • Click here to learn how to prevent getting mosquito bites.

 

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