Mosquito Protection and Zika

Protect yourself. Know Zika Virus

New York State is home to about 70 different types of mosquitoes, and most of them are not infected with disease-causing viruses.

The mosquito that is spreading Zika virus in Central America, South America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Southeast Asia, parts of Florida and Texas is not present in New York State. However, a mosquito related to that one is present in some parts of downstate New York.

This mosquito, Aedes albopictus (also known as the Asian Tiger mosquito), may be able to transmit Zika virus. To date, there have been no reported cases of infection from bites from this mosquito, and it has not been found to be carrying Zika virus in the United States.

Public health officials are encouraging all New Yorkers to take simple steps to stop mosquitoes:

  • Use bug spray. Find the best one for you here.
  • Get rid of standing water and other places where mosquitoes can breed.
    • Standing water is water that pools and doesn't dry within a few days after rain.
    • When possible, prevent standing water from collecting in containers like these: buckets, unused flower pots, canoes, and wheelbarrows. Cleaning clogged gutters so water flows freely through them and placing lids on outdoor trash cans will also reduce standing water. Change water in bird baths or livestock water troughs at least twice a week.
  • Use window screens.
  • Use larvicide to control mosquitoes.
    • Larvicide can be used on areas where water collects and cannot be removed or drained. These include pool covers, ornamental ponds, fountains and rain barrels.
    • For a free 2-pack of larvicide, New Yorkers can call the Zika Information Line at 1-888-364-4723, Monday – Friday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
    • For more information on using this larvicide, see Guidance when using Mosquito Dunks ® (larvicide)
    • Properly maintained swimming pools do not require larvicide.

For more information on mosquito prevention, see Mosquitoes and Disease brochure.

Zika is currently active in Central America, South American, the Caribbean, Mexico and Puerto Rico. A small number of Zika infections have been found in south Florida that were likely spread by mosquitoes. CDC and NYSDOH advise pregnant women against traveling to areas with Zika virus, including certain areas in Florida and Texas. To date, the only cases in New York State are in people who acquired the virus while traveling to Zika-affected areas or through sexual transmission from someone who had traveled to those areas.

Travelers returning to the United States from an area with Zika should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for three weeks so they do not spread Zika if they are infected – even if they show no symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

About Mosquito Dunks ® (larvicide)

Statewide Mosquito-borne Disease Activity Report