Archive for the tag 'mosquitoes'

Source: kainet / Flickr

Source: kainet / Flickr

The following information regarding pesticide spraying on September 3 to cut down on the risk of West Nile Virus was sent to us by the Department of Health:

To reduce mosquito activity and the risk of West Nile virus, the Health Department will spray pesticide from trucks in parts of Brooklyn on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following morning, weather permitting. In case of bad weather, application will be delayed until Monday, September 9, 2013 during the same hours. The neighborhoods listed below are being treated due to rising West Nile virus activity with high mosquito populations.

Neighborhoods

The areas being sprayed are parts of Brighton Beach, Bergen Beach, Coney Island, East Flatbush, Flatlands, Georgetown, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Homecrest, Marine Park, Manhattan Beach, Midwood, Middle Basin, Mill Island, Mill Basin, Sea Gate, Sheepshead Bay.

Boundaries

The boundaries are bordered by Avenue D, Brooklyn Avenue, East 36th Street, Avenue I, East 14th Street, Avenue U, Nostrand Avenue, Avenue X and 86th Street to the North; Bay Parkway and Gravesend Bay to the West; Atlantic Ocean, Knapp Street, Sheepshead Bay, Avenue X and Gerritsen Avenue to the South; and Belt Parkway, Paerdegat Basin and Ralph Avenue to the East.

ZIP Codes

The ZIP codes affected will be parts of 11203, 11210, 11214, 11223, 11224, 11229, 11230, 11234, and 11235.

For these sprayings, the Health Department will use a very low concentration of Anvil® 10+10, a synthetic pesticide. When properly used, this product 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 during spraying 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.

Reducing Exposure to Mosquitoes

  • Consider reducing the amount of time spent outdoors during the hours between dusk and dawn in areas with heavy mosquito populations.
  • Use an approved insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under three).
  • Make sure windows have screens, and 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 and covered if not in use; drain water that collects in pool covers.
  • Report standing water by calling 311 or visiting www.nyc.gov.

Bug out, Marine Park! Bug out, Mill Basin! Bug out, Gerritsen Beach!

Who gets the bugs out? (Department of Health, Health, Health). What get’s the bugs…

Okay, I’m done. The point is, the Health Department will spray pesticide from trucks to reduce risk of West Nile virus activity in and around our coverage area tomorrow, August 23, between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., weather permitting.

The areas to be sprayed are:

  • Parts of Canarsie, East Flatbush, Flatlands, Georgetown, Marine Park, Mill Island, Mill Basin, Paerdegat Basin, Spring Creek and Starrett City.
  • The boundaries of spraying are Linden Boulevard, Rockaway Parkway, Ralph Avenue, Flatlands Avenue and Greenwood Road to the north; Nostrand Avenue and Gerritsen Avenue to the west; Belt Parkway to the south; and Spring Creek and 78 Street to the east.
  • The zip codes affected are 11207, 11208, 11210, 11229, 11234, 11236 and 11237.

The Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure to the pesticide:

  • Stay indoors during spraying, especially if you have asthma or other respirator conditions.
  • Air conditioners may remain on, but you should close the vent or choose the re-circulate function.
  • Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment, and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If outdoor equipment or 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.

In case of bad weather, spraying will be rescheduled for Monday, August 27 during the same hours.

Source: Gravitywave/Flickr

It’s summer! Yes, that means nice weather and sunny days at the beach, but it also means nights filled with annoying buzzes, itching and scratching.

It’s mosquito season!

As the weather gets warmer and mosquito season commences, residents of coastal communities surrounding the Jamaica Bay area will be especially susceptible to bites, as the national park is not sprayed with mosquito repellant for environmental reasons.

New York Magazine, which predicts this year to be the worst year in recent history thanks to the mild winter, put all of our thoughts to words when they described mosquitoes: “Biologists call mosquitoes commensals, from the Latin indicating that we share the same table. The table is our lives, in the summer. The meal is our blood.”

Could anyone have put that in a better way?

To avoid those irritating bloodsuckers from taking bites “off your table,” those living around Jamaica Bay should take the proper precautionary steps. You can stop those bites and make this summer a better one than last!

A city Health Department survey cited by the Daily News showed that mosquitoes are attracted to buckets of water left outside, flower pots, and even soda cans.  The survey said that these are the chief mosquito breeding spots on private property. So do yourselves a favor and get rid of those half empty soda cans. Don’t just toss them in your garbage can. That will attract the bugs. Pour the soda out and rinse the can so that when you throw it out, the can is soda free. Also, be sure to keep your buckets of water and pretty flower pots inside. If the flowers are making you sneeze while indoors, its best to avoid them altogether.

Also, those living in Jamaica Bay stay indoors after dark, when mosquitoes are most rampant. Quickly close the doors to your houses when you come and go, so the bugs do not sneak in and make you look and feel like you have the chicken pox again. When late nights outdoors cannot be avoided, make sure to wear long sleeves and pants, and expose as little skin as possible so that you stay protected from those small little biters. It is also recommended that families spray themselves with insect repellant, especially if they plan to spend time outdoors.

And even if you can handle the discomfort that the  bites bring with them, there is another reason why all should remain protected against mosquitoes. Mosquitoes sometimes carry the West Nile Virus, which they can transmit to humans through bites. The first time that this virus was detected in New York was in 1999, which left the Health Department confused and surprised. Since then, the virus returned to New York year after year. Last year, 11 New York City residents were infected, two of whom lost their lives to the virus.

So before those wretched, disease carrying insects invade Brooklyn, prepare yourselves and follow the advice given above. Don’t give them a reason to choose you to be a part of their next meal.

Look at this asshole. Why did nature allow this? (Source: kainet/Flickr)

Bensonhurst Bean has picked up a story from NY1, revealing that West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Marine Park and Gravesend, among several other Brooklyn neighborhoods.

As the Bensonhurst news blog points out, “The Department of Health is advising residents to take precautions, such as wearing long pants, dumping out or reporting standing water and repairing window screens, in order to avoid mosquito bites.”

Tests by the city have turned up positive for West Nile in Gravesend, Marine Park, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Windsor Terrace and Greenwood Heights. No human cases have been reported, but the city is advising residents to clear out any standing water – the breeding grounds for mosquitoes – from their property, and to report any instances elsewhere to 311 and their local community board.

Look at that map. If you live or work in or near any of the yellow-shaded areas, then the city will be spraying chemicals to kill mosquitoes on your block. Spraying will begin tonight at 8:00 p.m. and continue until 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Like any time a government sprays a bunch of toxic crap in the air, they’re saying the chemical used – Anvil 10+10 – has no known risk to humans. But it’s The Man, man, so here are a couple of things you should do to make sure you stay safe and don’t grow an arm out of your butt (tips courtesy of The Man, not guaranteed to be 100 percent effective):

  • Stay indoors whenever possible during that time period – especially if you have asthma or respiratory issues.
  • Close the vents on your air-conditioner and set it to recirculate.
  • Remove toys, equipment and clothing from outdoor areas. If you leave them out there, make sure to wash them with soap before using them.
  • If you have an outdoor garden, wash your produce thoroughly before eating it.

Here’s a .pdf from the city detailing the spraying and safety tips, and here’s the city’s webpage for West Nile Virus. Tip o’ the hat to GerritsenBeach.net for beating me to this.