Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

March 30, 2017
Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remind residents that with the warmer weather of spring comes the official start of mosquito season in our area.

Mosquitoes are usually just thought of as an annoying pest, however they can sometimes spread disease, such as West Nile Virus or Zika Virus. While Rockland has cases of West Nile Virus spread from local mosquitoes, the only cases of Zika to date in Rockland are from people who have traveled to areas where the Zika Virus is spreading.

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, lay their eggs in the smallest amounts of stagnant (still) water around the home such as in birdbaths, bottle caps, unused flowerpots, and discarded tires. Others lay their eggs in small ponds or other bodies of stagnant water. 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.

Reduce Mosquitoes around Your Home and Yard

  • Check your property for ANY items that can hold water. 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 or spa 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, from April 1 – October 31, 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.
  • Fathead minnows are a type of fish that eat mosquito larvae before they become flying, biting adults. They will be available for one day only and they must be ordered in advance. The fish are available for pick-up ONLY on Thursday, April 20th from 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM at the Health Department. The fish can be placed in unused swimming pools, ornamental ponds, and other similar areas that have a minimum of eight inches of water. For more information, and to order the minnows, while supplies last, call (845) 364-3173 or visit Please order by April 15th.
  • 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.

Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites
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, call the Health Department at 845-364-3173 or visit To learn more about the Zika virus call the New York State Zika Information Line at 1-888-364-4723 or visit