Friday, May 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Westchester County Public Works

The Westchester County Health Department is giving away free mosquito dunks that residents can place in bird baths, rain barrels, unused pools and lined ornamental ponds that contain standing water.  The dunks contain a bacterium, Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis (Bti), that affects only the larvae of mosquitoes, blackfly and fungus gnats and is safe for animals and plants. 

Bti is naturally occurring in soil and has been approved for pest control in organic farming. It poses no harm to food crops or water supplies, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The free dunks will be available on Friday, May 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Westchester County Department of Public Works, 198 Lake Street, White Plains.

Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, said: “These dunks provide an environmentally safe and more cost-effective way to reduce the mosquito population than our past distribution of minnows. In recent years, pond raised minnows have become increasingly difficult to procure. This year, working with the State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department secured the dunks at no cost to our residents. Dunks can be more widely and effectively used than minnows to help combat mosquito larva in small bodies of water and residential settings.”

Residents should eliminate standing water from around their properties after it rains. Mosquitos can breed in a small amount of water. It takes only seven to ten days for an egg to hatch into a biting adult mosquito. Mosquitos do not fly far, so preventing them from breeding will keep mosquitos from biting near your home.