Southern Brooklyn

West Nile virus spraying coming to Gravesend, Homecrest, Sheepshead Bay

August 28, 2019 Meaghan McGoldrick

A swath of southern Brooklyn will be sprayed with insecticides this Thursday and Friday to reduce the risk of West Nile virus in the area and cut down on the general presence of mosquitos.

The truck spraying — the Health Department’s fifth adulticide (which targets already born mosquitoes, instead of the larvae) treatment this season — will take place in parts of Gravesend, Homecrest and Sheepshead Bay from 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29, to 6 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 30.

The treatment, which uses very low concentrations of insecticides, cover the area from Bay Parkway to Ocean Avenue and from 86th Street and Avenue U to Coney Island Creek. It will also take place in parts of Queens.

In the case of bad weather, the truck spraying will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 3, into Wednesday, Sept. 4.

While the risks of Health Department-applied pesticides are low for both people and pets, area residents are encouraged to stay indoors whenever possible. Some people who are sensitive to spray ingredients may experience short-term irritation, according to agency officials.

Air conditioners can remain on during the spraying, as well, officials say, but — though they say it’s unnecessary — people may want to close the vents or opt for the recirculation function during the spraying. Afterward, people are urged to wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides, as well as any fruits and vegetables.

Mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus were discovered earlier this summer in Health Department monitoring traps in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

Thirty people citywide suffered from neuroinvasive effects from West Nile mosquitoes last year, with six in Brooklyn, according to the Health Department. Six people across the city came down with West Nile Fever, including one in Brooklyn.

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The most common symptoms of mild West Nile infection are headache, fever, muscle aches and extreme fatigue.

No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported this season, but the Health Department is urging people to protect themselves from mosquito bites using insect repellent and protective clothing. New Yorkers can also report standing water by calling 311 or visiting the Health Department’s website, where they can find more information about the West Nile virus.

Additional reporting by Mary Frost. 

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