PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
To help county residents reduce the number of mosquitoes on their property, Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert have announced the availability of free mosquito control products:
Mosquito Dunks®: Come to the Health Department, Building D, 50 Sanatorium Road in Pomona, Mondays – Fridays, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. for a free one month’s supply of Mosquito Dunks®. They are available now through October 31, while supplies last. Dunks are small, donut-shaped objects that float on the water’s surface and release bacteria that kill mosquitoes in their larval stage in water, before they become flying, biting adults. They are for use in closed or unused private swimming pools and spas, and are effective for approximately 30 days. A single dunk will treat an area of about 100 square feet. Always follow the label instructions when using Mosquito Dunks® or any other pesticide. It is important to know the approximate dimensions of your pool/spa to ensure that you get the proper number of dunks for effective treatment. In addition, residents can request free larvicide tablets by calling the New York State Department of Health at 1-888-364-4723.
Fathead Minnows: Fathead minnows will be available for one day only and they must be ordered in advance. The fish are available for pick-up only next Thursday, April 19 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at the Health Department, 50 Sanatorium Road in Pomona. Follow the “Free Dunk/Fish” signs from Sanatorium Road to the giveaway location. Call 845-364-3173 on April 19 during normal business hours to make sure that the fish giveaway will take place as scheduled. The Health Department will provide the required permits to allow you to stock the fish within Rockland County. The fish will be in a sealed bag for transport. Please bring a bucket or small cooler. To order the minnows, while supplies last, call 845-364-3173 or visit http://bit.ly/2na0BSG. The deadline to place your order is April 16.
Fathead minnows are a type of fish that eat mosquito larvae before they become flying, biting adults. They can eat up to 200 mosquito larvae per day. The fish can be placed in unused swimming pools, ornamental ponds, and other similar areas that have a minimum of eight inches of water. It is not necessary to stock streams and rivers with these fish, as mosquitoes generally do not lay eggs in moving water. If fish are already present, it is not necessary to add Fathead minnows, as the existing fish population should provide appropriate mosquito control.
“Mosquitoes can sometimes spread disease, such as West Nile Virus or Zika Virus. The West Nile Virus has been found in local mosquitoes, and Rockland County has had cases of the virus in people which was spread from local mosquitoes. To date, the Zika virus has not been found in local mosquitoes, and our only cases of Zika to date are from people who have traveled to areas where the Zika Virus is spreading,” Dr. Ruppert said.
In addition to the mosquito control products above, to help keep your property mosquito-free: be sure to check around your property for any items that can hold water and get rid of the items or empty the water out and scrub the objects at least once a week. For more information call the Health Department at 845-364-3173 or visit the New York State Department of Health webpages at www.health.ny.gov/diseases/west_nile_virus/ and www.health.ny.gov/diseases/zika_virus/.