The Suffolk County Department of Health has discovered a case of the West Nile Virus in Southampton while conducting recent testing for the disease.
County Health Commissioner Dr. James L. Tomarken is calling on residents to help reduce the mosquito population by eliminating stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.
The New York State Integrated Pest Management Program offers this advice:
- Dump out standing water from containers in the yard, including recycling bins with bottle caps and cans, tires, boats, and tarps.
- Clean debris from rain gutters early in spring and check them regularly. If you are unable to clean them, ask your landscaper or pest control technician. A huge number of mosquitoes can result from clogged gutters.
- Clean, filter, and treat pools. Empty children’s pools and turn them over when not in use. Keep pool covers clean by propping them up to drain water.
- Encourage natural enemies. For example, stock ornamental ponds with goldfish. Mosquito fish (a type of minnow, also known as Gambusia) devour mosquito larvae. Dragonflies and damselflies are mosquito predators.
- Construct goldfish ponds properly. Large goldfish are unable to reach sloping edges of ponds where mosquitoes breed, so be sure your pond has vertical sides. A pond fountain will also reduce mosquito breeding.
- Change the water in birdbaths and fountains twice a week.
Mosquito problems and stagnant pools of water may be reported to the Department of Public Works’ Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.