On March 17, 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a six-step action plan to combat the potential spread of the Zika virus in communities across New York State. The plan is designed to specifically target the type of Aedes mosquito active in New York, which has a lifespan of about 3 weeks; stays within 200 yards of its birthplace; breeds in small containers of clean water; and has unique habits that help the Aedes mosquito avoid traditional mosquito traps.
The Rockland County Department of Health (RCDOH) Zika Action Plan was developed in accordance with the New York State Department of Health guidelines and with expertise in our decades-old, comprehensive mosquito control program. 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 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 held a free fat head minnow (type of fish that eats mosquito larva) give-away event in April. 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.
As in the past, the Health Department mosquito control teams will treat mosquito breeding sites such as swamps and storm drains to kill the mosquitoes breeding there, however we need County residents to work with us to help fight the Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger) mosquito since they prefer to breed in any containers that can hold water on your property, even in less than one ounce of water (about two tablespoons), such as the cap to a bottle of drinking water. Its favorite places to lay eggs are backyard containers, such as birdbaths, flowerpots and bases, 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!
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 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. In addition, residents can request free larvicide tablets by calling the New York State Department of Health at 1-888-364-4723.
- 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.
Zika Virus Testing Results
|Pools¹ of Mosquitoes Submitted for ZIKA Testing:
ZIKV-Positive Pools by Township:
¹A 'Pool' is a laboratory term, meaning a collection of 10-60 individual mosquitoes of the same species from a particular site. Individual mosquitoes are not submitted for testing.