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NYC to spray mosquito pesticide in Queens, Staten Island in battle against West Nile virus

NEW YORK — The New York City Health Department will spray pesticide in parts of Staten Island and Queens on Thursday to reduce the risk of West Nile virus.

The spraying will take place between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following morning, weather permitting.

In case of bad weather, it will be delayed until Monday, July 24 during the same hours.

The Health Department monitors mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus and applies pesticides to mosquito breeding grounds throughout the summer.

When the pesticide is properly used, it poses no significant risks to human health. The Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

• Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are encouraged to stay inside since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.
• Air conditioners may remain on. However, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.
• Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using again.
• Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.

The most effective way to control mosquitoes is to eliminate any standing water. New Yorkers are also encouraged to mosquito-proof their homes and take precautions when spending time outdoors.

Reducing exposure to mosquitoes
• Use an approved insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under three), or products that contain the active ingredient IR3535.
• Make sure windows have screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
• Eliminate any standing water from your property and dispose of containers that can collect water. Standing water is a violation of the New York City Health Code.
• Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty or covered if not in use. Drain water that collects in pool covers.

Report standing water by calling 311 or visiting nyc.gov/health/wnv.

For more information about West Nile virus, call 311 or visit nyc.gov.