Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

July 20, 2022
Contact: Beth Cefalu, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


First pool (group) of mosquitoes test positive this season

NEW CITY, NY, - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert announce the first pool, or group, of mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) this year in Rockland County has been confirmed by the New York State Department of Health. The infected mosquitoes (species are Culex pipiens-restuans) were collected from a trap in the Town of Haverstraw during the week of July 12th and submitted for testing on July 18th as part of the County's ongoing mosquito surveillance efforts. To date, 266 pools were submitted this season. No human cases have been reported this season, and the last human case reported in Rockland was in 2021.

"This time of year is when we see a rise in West Nile Virus activity, and this positive mosquito pool confirms that," said Dr. Ruppert.

Most mosquitoes do not test positive for disease-causing viruses. However, a bite from a West Nile Virus-infected mosquito can cause serious illness and, in some cases, death. Although a person's chances of getting sick are small, those aged 50 and older are at the highest risk for serious illness. Not everyone infected with West Nile Virus will become ill. However, West Nile can cause serious complications, including neurological diseases, and can also cause a milder flu-like illness, including fever, headache and body aches, nausea, and occasionally a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. If you think you have symptoms of West Nile Virus, see your doctor right away.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. The eggs hatch into larvae that develop in the water for 7 to 10 days before emerging as adult mosquitoes that fly and bite. Many types of mosquitoes, including those that can spread disease, lay their eggs in items around the home, such as in birdbaths, unused flowerpots, discarded tires, and even bottle caps, as well as in small ponds or other bodies of stagnant water.

"The Health Department mosquito control team visits all known mosquito breeding sites and applies larvicides throughout the summer in an effort to control the mosquito population, in turn reducing the risk of mosquito borne diseases" said Dr. Ruppert.

"The Health Department's Mosquito Control Program continually works to control mosquitoes to help protect us all. We ask that every resident do their part by checking their property to eliminate any standing water where mosquitos could breed," said County Executive Day.

The best and most effective mosquito control begins in private yards. Eliminating standing water is the first step in reducing mosquito breeding:

  • Check your property for ANY items that can hold water. Anything you choose to keep outside, such as kids' toys, buckets, wading pools, canoes, and wheelbarrows, should be flipped over when not used to prevent them from collecting any water.
  • Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers 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 the standing water with Mosquito Dunks®, and post accordingly. The dunks are available free of charge at the Health Department, Building D, 50 Sanatorium Road in Pomona, Monday - Friday by appointment only, while supplies last. Call 845-364-3173 or e-mail to arrange a pickup.
  • Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so 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.

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.
  • 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 (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) 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 ensure 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 West Nile virus, visit