Mosquito season is from April to October. Standing water can attract mosquitoes, including those that carry West Nile Virus, Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, and Chikungunya. In residential areas, standing water can accumulate in unused tires, cans, clogged gutters, unused pools and pool covers and other receptacles that collect water. Mosquitoes can enter homes through unscreened windows or doors, or broken screens.
What does the city do to control the mosquito population?
Each mosquito season, the city implements the mosquito control plan to reduce mosquito populations. Through this plan, the Health Department:
- Reduces mosquito breeding sites by removing standing water and applying larvicide to sites that cannot be emptied or drained. Larvicides are pesticides that affect only mosquitoes and are harmless to people. They are dropped by helicopter onto marshes and other large natural areas to kill mosquito larvae before they grow into adult mosquitoes. This practice is called aerial larviciding.
- Monitors mosquito populations and disease. When monitoring data shows an increased risk of disease, the Health Department sprays pesticides from trucks to control adult mosquitoes. This is called adulticiding. These applications can happen in residential or non-residential areas and are carefully planned and conducted to avoid human exposure to the pesticides.
- Works with the public to reduce standing water through public outreach/education and by investigating 311 standing water complaints.
View the Mosquito Spraying Events Schedule for the latest itinerary of planned aerial larviciding and spraying/adulticiding in all five boroughs. To register for updates on mosquito spraying, sign up for NotifyNYC or follow us on Twitter at @nycHealthy.
Also see the Comprehensive Mosquito Control Plan for 2016 (PDF)
What can I do to prevent mosquito bites?
To reduce your exposure to mosquitoes, you can:
- Remove standing water that collects on your property
- Use insect repellent
- Wear protective clothing such as long pants and long-sleeved shirts
- Learn when mosquitoes are most active
- Make sure your windows have screens and repair or replace screens that have holes
- Remind or help neighbors to eliminate mosquito-breeding sites on their properties
Do all mosquitoes bite humans?
Most female mosquitoes feed on humans, birds and other animals to get sufficient blood to develop eggs. Male mosquitoes feed on nectar and plant juices only.
Do all mosquitoes spread disease?
No, while there are many different species of mosquitoes, only certain species can transmit disease and only a small proportion of these actually carry the disease. Diseases spread by infected mosquitoes include West Nile Virus, Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, and Chikungunya.
Why are some people bitten more than others?
There are many things that attract mosquitoes: colognes, perfumes and scented body lotions can attract mosquitoes. Dark-colored clothing is also more attractive to mosquitoes. During evenings, nighttime and dawn, mosquitoes are most active in searching for blood meals, so people outdoors during that time are more likely to be bitten.
Where do mosquitoes live?
Mosquitoes lays their eggs in standing or slow-moving water. Weeds, tall grass, and bushes provide an outdoor home for adult mosquitoes. Learn how to remove standing water that collects on your property.
For more commonly asked questions about mosquitoes, go to Mosquito FAQs.