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Spray for mosquitoes where it is needed most: Gennaro

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The city has heeded elected officials’ calls to spray parts of Queens for mosquitoes, but City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), who spearheaded the effort, is upset that the treatments are not targeted at the areas most in need of skeeter suppression.

The city Department of Health has said in recent weeks that West Nile Virus has been found in Asian Tiger mosquitoes in Jamaica Estates and the Pomonok Houses housing complex, and Gennaro and other local politicians held a rally in Jamaica Estates last week to call on the department to protect residents from the disease by spraying those areas.

The city on Wednesday distributed a public notice flier announcing that it would be spraying pesticide that evening from 8:15 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday morning, but Brad Groznik, a spokesman for Gennaro, said the councilman is not happy with the spraying plan because the areas identified for spraying are not the ones that need it most.

“None of the boundaries are really where we wanted it. In Jamaica Estates and Pomonok Houses, that’s where they say they found West Nile, but they’re just spraying around the area, not actually in those locations,” Groznik said Wednesday. “We’re confused and we’re actually in contact with the Health Department trying to figure out what they’re doing. We’re hoping it was just a mistake.”

The city flier said it will be spraying the Anvil 10+10 pesticide in an area bounded by 213rd Street, Hollis Court Boulevard and 90th Avenue to the east; 45th Avenue, Utopia Parkway and 53rd Avenue to the north; 146th Place, Laburnum Avenue and 156th Street to the west; and the Long Island Expressway and 188th Street to the south.

To protect themselves from the pesticide, people in the affected area are advised to avoid being outdoors as much as possible; remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment and clothes from outside areas; wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticide with soap and water; and call the city Poison Control Center at 212-764-7667 if they experience an adverse reaction to the pesticide.

Call 311 for more information about the spraying.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Posted 11:07 am, October 12, 2011
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