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NYC Health Department Unveils Plan to Combat West Nile Virus Spread in Queens

Published: August 1, 2023
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A mosquito collected in Louisville, Kentucky. NPR was proud to announce that University of Washington scientists had found a way to vaccinate for malaria using mosquitos in a clinical trial. However, the feat was already done, but better, by European scientists in 2009. (Image: Jon Cherry via Getty Images)

Published on behalf of the New York City Health Department, and Ashwin Vasan, MD, PhDCommissioner


The NYC Health Department announced on July 31 that it will be sending out trucks to spray bug-killing pesticides in parts of Queens on the evening of Aug. 3. The goal is to cut down on mosquitoes and lessen the risk of the West Nile virus spreading throughout the city.

The trucks will start their work on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, from 8:30pm to 6am the next morning. If weather conditions are poor, the spraying will take place on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023.

The sprays that will be used are called: Anvil® 10+10, Duet® or MERUS® 3. These are pretty safe for people and pets, but if you’re sensitive to these sorts of things, you might get irritated eyes, a sore throat, or a rash, the department warns. People with breathing problems might also feel some effects. To keep safe, stay inside if you can. Experts advise residents to keep their air conditioning on, but to close the vents or set them to recirculate. After the spray, wash any skin or clothing that got sprayed on with soap and water. Don’t forget to wash your fruits and vegetables too.

Other tips to keep in mind

The best way to keep mosquitoes away is to not have any standing water around, the department advises. It is also recommended for residents to bug-proof their homes and be careful when they’re outside. You can use bug repellent that has DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for kids under 3), or IR3535 in it.

In addition, make sure windows have screens on them and fix any that have tears or holes. Get rid of any standing water on your property and throw away containers that can hold water. Make sure gutters are clean and draining properly. Also, keep pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs clean and chlorinated. Keep them empty or covered if they’re not being used. Drain any water that collects in pool covers.

The trucks will be spraying in parts of Brookville, Cambria Heights, Laurelton, Rochdale, Rosedale, Saint Albans, South Jamaica, and Springfield on Thursday, Aug. 3. The areas are bordered by Rockaway Boulevard, Guy R Brewer Boulevard, Belt Parkway, Rockaway Boulevard, Sutphin Boulevard to the Southwest and West; Foch Boulevard, Rail Road, Farmers Boulevard, 119 Avenue to the North; Belt Parkway, Hook Creek Boulevard to the East; and Hook Creek to the South.

If you see any standing water, report it by calling 311 or going to For more information regarding the West Nile virus, call 311 or visit the official website here.