Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway) recently sent a letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) requesting that they authorize the New York City Department of Health (DOH) to perform larvicide spraying for all mosquitoes and to eliminate any potential carriers of the West Nile Virus in Southern Queens and the Rockaways this summer.
“Mosquitoes are a serious health issue in Southern Queens and the Rockaways and I have urged the appropriate agencies to take the needed steps to prevent this problem,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “Our community is a frequent breeding ground for mosquitoes, which create a high risk of infections through mosquito bites or simply prevent many residents from enjoying the outdoor summer weather.”
In the past, the NYC Department of Health will perform larvicide spraying only when the first case of West Nile is detected. Additionally, the department stated they will not spray for what they deem as “nuisance issues”. However, the department will only take action once mosquitoes become an active danger.
Currently, the NYC Department of Health has placed traps around the city at high-risk zones for the West Nile Virus. The traps are treated four times a year, aiming to kill unborn mosquitoes. However, these traps have not fully prevented outbreaks of West Nile in the past and there is no reason to think they will be fully effective this year, Assemblyman Goldfeder noted.
“Mosquitoes are more than a ‘nuisance issue’ in our area,” said Assemblyman Goldfeder. “They prevent our families and children from enjoying the neighborhood in the beautiful summer months. This is an issue that is preventable if the appropriate agencies would take the immediate and necessary steps to eradicate these dangerous bugs before they become a serious threat to our community.”