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New York City Seal
Press Release
NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
Office of Communications
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Greg Butler
Friday, September 6, 2002
(212) 788-5290
(877) 640-1347


Ground-based Spraying to Take Place Overnight Sunday,
September 8, 8:00 P.M. to 2:00 A.M., Weather Permitting

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) announced today that ground-based spraying has been scheduled for the Bronx – in residential and non-residential areas south of Westchester Avenue – in response to persistent findings of West Nile virus (WNV) positive mosquitoes in the area. Additionally, heightened mosquito surveillance identified the presence of human biting mosquitoes in the area. Weather permitting, targeted ground-based spraying by DOHMH is scheduled for overnight, Sunday, September 8 between the hours of 8:00 P.M. and 2:00 A.M. the following morning in residential and non-residential areas of the following neighborhoods:

Hunts Point, Bronx River, Clason Point, Castle Hill, Schuylerville, Edgewater Park, and Throgs Neck in areas south of (from west to east): the Bruckner Expressway, to Westchester Avenue, to Middletown Road, to Jarvis Avenue, to Country Club Road.

The following non-residential areas are also scheduled for spraying: Ferry Point Park, Soundview Park, and St. Raymond's Cemetery.

In the event of high winds or rain, spraying will take place Monday morning, September 9, between the hours of 4:00 A.M. and 6:00 A.M. For up-to-date spray schedules, New Yorkers can call 1-877-WNV-4NYC or listen to WCBS radio (880AM) at 6:19 A.M. and 6:19 P.M. Spray schedules are announced on the day prior to and the day of spraying activities.

Recommendations to Prevent WNV

DOHMH advises New Yorkers, especially those 50 and over, to take personal precautions against mosquitoes:

  • If outside between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, wear protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks.
  • Consider the use of an insect repellent containing DEET. USE DEET ACCORDING TO MANUFACTURER'S DIRECTIONS. As with chemical exposures in general, pregnant women should take care to avoid exposure to DEET whenever practical.
  • Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.

New Yorkers are also encouraged to help "Mosquito-Proof New York City" by eliminating areas of standing water around their homes:

  • Make sure roof gutters drain properly.
  • Dispose of cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or similar water-holding containers.
  • Remove all discarded tires from property.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. If not in use, keep pools empty and covered.
  • Drain water from pool covers.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Change water in birdbaths every 3 to 4 days.
  • Eliminate any other areas of standing water that collects on your property;
  • Remind or help neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their properties.

DOHMH is using Anvil (Sumithrin), a synthetic pyrethroid used in mosquito control efforts in New York City since 1999. Exposure to Anvil may result in eye, nose and/or respiratory irritation, but symptoms are generally short-term. Nonetheless, DOHMH offered tips for individuals who live near the areas to be treated and wish to minimize any potential exposure to pesticides:

  • Some individuals are sensitive to pesticides. Persons with asthma or other respiratory conditions are especially encouraged to stay inside during spraying since there is a possibility that spraying could worsen those conditions.
  • Air conditioners may remain on. But if you wish to reduce the possibility of exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the recirculate function.
  • If you wish to minimize exposure to pesticides, you may want to bring children's toys, outdoor equipment and clothes from outdoor areas inside during spraying. If outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, they may be washed with soap and water to reduce the possibility of exposure.
  • Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables that may have been exposed to any pesticide.

Anyone experiencing adverse reactions to pesticides should seek medical care or call the NYC Poison Control Center at (212) POISONS [(212) 764-7667].

Updates of positive West Nile virus findings in New York City can be found at DOHMH recommends that New Yorkers continue to eliminate standing water around their homes, take personal precautions against mosquitoes, and report dead birds to the City's WNV Information Line, 1-877-WNV-4NYC (1-877-968-4692) or through DOHMH's Web site,