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Westchester County Offering Up Minnows To Combat Mosquitoes

The Westchester County Health Department will give away 200 pounds of fathead minnows this week.
The Westchester County Health Department will give away 200 pounds of fathead minnows this week. Photo Credit: Contributed
A resident gets her minnows. The minnows will be distributed in watertight plastic bags.
A resident gets her minnows. The minnows will be distributed in watertight plastic bags. Photo Credit: Contributed
Two hundred pounds of minnows were already distributed this May.
Two hundred pounds of minnows were already distributed this May. Photo Credit: Contributed
The minnows keep mosquitoes away from ponds.
The minnows keep mosquitoes away from ponds. Photo Credit: Contributed

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Residents with ponds who want minnows to prevent mosquitoes from proliferating should bring a bucket or a pail to Loop Road, Building 2 at the Westchester County Airport on Wednesday or Thursday, between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The building is the first right from the airport access road. The minnows will be distributed in watertight plastic bags.

The Westchester County Health Department will give away 200 pounds of fathead minnows this week.

The department already had distributed 200 pounds of minnows to 120 people during the first week of May, but has continued to receive calls from interested property owners.

“Interest in this natural strategy has been strong this year,” said Peter DeLucia, assistant commissioner for public health protection. “We know these fish can eat many times their weight in mosquito larvae and they can often last for several seasons. They’re great little soldiers in the fight against West Nile Virus.”

The minnows are a small part of the county’s mosquito control efforts, which include applying larvicide to county catch basins and encouraging residents to dump out standing water on their property after every rainfall.

The Health Department started using larvicide May 1 in the southern part of the county and teams will work their way north, evaluating and treating as needed all catch basins on county and municipal roads throughout the county over the next few months.

The larvicide comes in a solid chunk, about the size of a charcoal briquette, and is placed in catch basins that hold standing water and are free of leaves and other debris.

Large areas of standing water on public property that cannot easily be removed should be reported to the Health Department by calling (914)-813-5000.

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