Aug. 4, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
The Health Department will spray pesticides over parts of parts of Sunnyside and Woodside tonight to help eradicate mosquitoes and several diseases they may carry.
Trucks will spray the pesticides aimed at killing mosquitoes from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. tonight. The general area (see map) is bound by Queens Boulevard to the north and 56th Road to the south, and 29th Street to the west and 58th Street to the east.
Although the chemicals do not cause harm to humans, according to the Health Department, residents should take precautions to minimize exposure, as the chemicals could irritate some if sensitive.
The city has sprayed for mosquitoes for the many years in hopes of controlling the threat of West Nile Virus, but the more recent threat of Zika Virus has increased the city’s efforts.
Zika can be transmitted by an infected Aedes species mosquito, and can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus, often causing birth defects. Though no cases have reportedly been transmitted in New York, there was a large outbreak in Brazil earlier this year, spreading through South America, Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico, causing the city to take extra precautions.
This increased effort comes on the heels of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement on Tuesday that he plans to step up the city’s work in battling Zika.
“As the season is heating up, we’re increasing our efforts twofold,” Cuomo said during a press conference on Tuesday.
His plan includes introducing larvicide and pesticide to areas with stagnant water, where mosquitoes are most likely to breed.
The state of New York has seen 537 cases of Zika Virus so far, with 414 in the city, but all were connected to travel or were transmitted sexually, and had not been transmitted by a mosquito in the state.
The spraying tonight is the second in Queens in the last week, as the city sprayed pesticides in parts of College Point, Flushing and Whitestone on Monday.