Need something else?

During mosquito season, April 1 to October 31, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) monitors mosquito populations and conducts activities to reduce the number of mosquitoes.

To reduce the number of mosquitoes in the City, it is important to remove standing water. In residential areas, standing water can accumulate in unused tires, cans, clogged gutters, unused pools and pool covers, and other receptacles that collect water.

You can:

  • Report Standing Water during mosquito season
  • Report large or unusual swarms of mosquitoes during mosquito season
  • Learn about preventing mosquitoes and mosquito bites
  • Get the mosquito spraying schedule

In New York City, there are 51 different types of mosquitoes. Most mosquitoes do not transmit disease, and some do not bite humans at all. Some mosquitoes have the ability to spread diseases like the West Nile virus or Zika virus.

Keeping Mosquitoes Out

Mosquitoes are attracted to light. They will fly to bright windows at night and gather on and around doors with outside porch lights. Mosquitoes can easily fly into homes when doors are opened. The following steps will help prevent mosquitoes from entering your home:

  • Repair any holes in window screens.
  • Place door sweeps on doors that have large gaps at the top or bottom.
  • Replace porch lights with yellow bulbs (mosquitoes aren't usually attracted to yellow bulbs).
  • Close gaps in window mounted air conditioners.

Mosquitoes that Breed Year-Round

Some mosquitoes may breed year-round, but mosquitoes that breed during colder months do not carry the West Nile or Zika viruses. Colder weather mosquitoes live mainly in sewers, wet or damp cellars, or in blocked drains.
If you have mosquitoes in your home during colder months, you should:

  • Inspect basement walls and ceilings for mosquitoes.
  • Use caulk to fill gaps between waste pipes entering your home and the floors or walls.
  • Install fine metal screens on all tubs and sinks.
  • Hire an exterminator certified by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

Traveling to a Place Where Mosquitoes are Spreading Zika

If you are traveling to an affected area, take steps to avoid mosquitoes. The type of mosquito linked to the current Zika outbreak is very aggressive. These mosquitoes bite during the day and early evening.

  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under 3 years old).
  • Use repellents approved by the EPA and follow the directions on the label.
  • Apply sunscreen first, then repellent.
  • Insect repellent is safe for pregnant women.
  • Do not use insect repellent on infants younger than 2 months old. Do not allow young children to apply insect repellent themselves.
  • Do not apply insect repellent to a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, or any irritated skin or cuts.
  • Adults and children should wear long sleeves and pants. Wear clothing treated with permethrin (a chemical that repels insects).
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or window and door screens.
  • Use a mosquito bed net if you cannot keep mosquitoes out of your residence. Cover cribs, strollers, and baby carriers with mosquito netting.
  • Get rid of standing water that collects in and around your residence, because standing water attracts mosquitoes.
  • If you are sexually active and not pregnant, health experts recommend using birth control and condoms while you travel and for a time after you return home. Condoms may stop Zika from spreading sexually. Birth control helps prevent pregnancies in which one or both sex partners might have Zika. For more information, visit the Birth Control page.

Learn more about preventing mosquitoes and mosquito bites.

Learn more about the Zika virus.

DOHMH uses larvicides and pesticides to control mosquitoes, which can transmit viruses that cause disease.

Spraying takes place on scheduled dates during mosquito spraying season, unless otherwise noted on the schedule.

Aerial applications of the larvicide usually occur between 6 AM and 7 PM in mosquito-breeding non-residential key areas (mainly marshes and other large wetlands) of Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Ground application of larvicide will occur on specified dates, from 6 PM to 6:30 AM (the following morning).

For residential areas, the DOHMH provides at least 24 hours advance notice of spray events through:

  • The media
  • The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website
  • 311 and other organizations

In the event of rain or wind, spraying may be postponed.

You can report large or unusual numbers of mosquitoes swarming at a specific location during mosquito season. DOHMH will use the information you provide to locate and evaluate mosquito populations across the City. DOHMH will not visit the site or spray mosquitoes in response to your report.

Your report should include as much information as possible about the location of the mosquitoes, including a description of nearby property.

You can also report Standing Water in a private or public area other than a City street to DOHMH. Mosquitoes use standing water to breed. Property owners who don’t remove standing water on their property may receive an inspection and fine.

  Was this information helpful?   Yes    No