NEW YORK CITY — The New York City Health Department will conduct its first mosquito treatment of the year in non-residential marsh and wetland areas in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and The Bronx for three days this week, according to the agency.
The Health Department will use a helicopter to drop pellet-like larvicide in still water where mosquito types that carry the West Nile virus and could carry the Zika virus breed in an effort to reduce the risk of people contracting either illness this summer. The treatment will take place Thursday to Saturday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Areas set to get the treatment include marsh land in Marine Park, Kissena Park, Pelham Pay Park and South Beach.
There has been no transmission of the Zika virus in the city and West Nile has not been detected in mosquitoes or people so far this year, the Health Department said.
Mosquitoes can reproduce in still water that has been standing for more than four days during warm weather.
The larvicide used contains “naturally occurring bacteria” approved by the federal EPA and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to kill infant mosquito eggs, according to the agency.
The agency hopes use of the larvicide will reduce the need for spraying areas at risk of West Nile occurring this summer, a Health Department spokesman said.
There were 38 cases of West Nile virus in the city in 2015, with four people dying, according to the Health Department.
In addition to using larvicide, the city has also allocated $21 million during the next three years to prevent the spread of the Zika virus.
The Health Department encouraged residents to use insect repellent, eliminate any standing water from their property and make sure their windows have screens to reduce the risk of mosquito exposure.