Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

August 16, 2016
Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


Get rid of standing water especially after all the recent rain

NEW CITY, NY - - With all the rain we've gotten recently, Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remind residents to be sure to get rid of any standing water around their house to help prevent mosquitoes from breeding on their property.

Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance pest; they can spread disease, such as West Nile Virus or Zika Virus. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in or near water, and their offspring "grow up" in water before emerging as adults that fly and bite. Many types of mosquitoes, including those that can spread disease, can lay their eggs in even the smallest amounts of standing water around the home such as in flowerpots, birdbaths, bottle caps, and discarded tires. Others lay their eggs in small ponds or other bodies of water.

"As in the past, the Health Department mosquito control teams are treating mosquito breeding sites such as swamps and storm drains to kill the mosquitoes breeding there, however we need residents to check their 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," said Dr. Ruppert.

In addition, follow these tips to help prevent mosquitoes from breeding on your property:

  • 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 for homeowner swimming pool use ONLY and 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.

Most mosquitoes are not infected with disease-causing viruses. However, to reduce your risk of being bitten, take the following steps:

  • Cover-up as completely as possible. Wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods or when mosquitoes are more active. Most mosquitoes are active between dusk and dawn and will bite when the air is calm. Other mosquitoes, especially the types that breed in containers, will bite at any time of the day.
  • Use mosquito repellent, which should always be applied according to label directions. Do not use repellent on babies younger than 2 months old. Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old.
  • Cover baby carriers with mosquito netting when outside.
  • Stay indoors when mosquitoes are more active.
  • Close doors and make sure all windows and doors have screens, and that the screens do not have rips, tears or holes.

To learn more, visit or call the Health Department at 845-364-3173. To learn more about the Zika virus visit the New York State Department of Health website at or call the Zika Information line at 1-888-364-4723. Visit to notify the Health Department if you are concerned about a potential mosquito breeding area such as an unmaintained swimming pool or a pile of tires.