“Biting Back Against Mosquitoes”

By County Executive Ed Day

Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance, they also spread dangerous diseases which is why, to help County residents reduce the number of mosquitoes on their property, my administration combats these pests by treating catch basins and storm drains. The treatment program prevents these insects from breeding in the standing water of these structures.

While not all mosquitoes carry diseases, several can spread potentially deadly diseases like West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis to people, underlining the importance of our efforts under this program.

The program uses tabs of Altosid, a growth regulator, that are dropped into storm drains and stop mosquitoes from becoming breeding, biting adults.

Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water which hatch in larvae and develop in the water for 7 to 10 days before emerging as adult mosquitoes. Rockland has more than 50,000 drains, and the county will treat about half of them for mosquitoes.

We ask Rockland families to be patient if they come across Health Department staff driving slowly along the roadways conducting these treatments and avoid parking over storm drains.

Families can be proactive in fighting these pests by eliminating any standing water you may have on your property. Regularly check your yard and property for any items that can hold stagnant water such as dog bowls and birdbaths and replace them with fresh water daily.

There are also free mosquito dunks, or donut-shaped objects, that the County distributes to residents for unused swimming pools. These dunks release bacteria that kill mosquitoes before they become flying, biting adults.

Program staff also conduct routine and complaint-based inspections at many commercial properties that are considered “high risk” for mosquito breeding, including tire-storage facilities, landscape yards, municipal storage yards, outdoor swimming pool facilities, horse farms, marinas, and garden centers, as well as respond to complaints against private residential properties.

Together through these combined efforts, we can all help control the mosquito population and protect ourselves and the community from vector-borne diseases. Our Health Department will stop at nothing to ensure we are protected against all healththreats.

For more information and resources available to families to combat mosquitoes call the

Health Department at 845-364-3173 or visit: 

 http://bit.ly/RCDOH_mosquito.