NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The Westchester County Department of Health will begin its annual West Nile Virus prevention program on Monday by checking catch basins throughout the county for standing water and applying larvicide as needed.
The department's goal is to eliminate breeding sites for mosquitoes that can carry the virus.
Teams will begin in New Rochelle, Yonkers, and Mount Vernon evaluating and treating catch basins on county and municipal roads over the next few months, the department said.
Residents are advised to get rid of standing water from around their properties especially after it rains.
Large areas of standing water on public property that cannot easily be removed should be reported to the Health Department at (914) 813-5000.
The department advises residents to do the following in order to prevent sites where mosquitoes breed near their homes.
• Remove unneeded tires, cans, buckets, drums, wheelbarrows and bottles from outdoor property.
• Cover trash containers to keep rain out.
• Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
• Clean roof gutters and remove standing water from flat roofs.
• Remove standing water from basements.
• Place a couple of capfuls of household bleach in a basement sump-pump pit if it has standing water.
• Keep drains, culverts and streams clean of weeds and trash so that water can drain properly.
• Make sure stored boat covers are completely drained and store small boats upside down.
• Drain water in birdbaths, plant pots and drip trays twice a week.
• Trim shrubs to eliminate hiding places for adult mosquitoes.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor spas and hot tubs. Be sure rainwater does not collect on their covers, and disinfect them with bleach to kill mosquito larvae and eggs.
• Use sand or concrete to fill in hollow tree stumps and rot holes that hold water.
• Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
For more information about West Nile Virus, go to www.westchestergov.com/health.