The Westchester County Department of Health (WCDOH) announced Project Stop The Insects’ Next Generation or S.T.I.N.G. in 2004. It continues to be a very comprehensive and very innovative program. The program addresses mosquito control, transmission of mosquito-borne illness, health provider and public education, and research.
Concern over mosquito-borne illnesses in Westchester County NY rose in 1999 after the appearance of West Nile Virus in our county. The goal of the Surveillance Plan “is to detect the presence of mosquito-borne infectious agent(s) in the environment, and implement appropriate measures to reduce or prevent the risk of illness in humans.”
S.T.I.N.G. tracks the occurrence of mosquito-borne illnesses and announces their presence in the county. In addition, the project provides mosquito control services eliminating both adult mosquitoes and their larvae. WCDOH announces in press releases any spraying schedules and risk associated with pesticide exposure on its website, and in press releases on television and radio.
Westchester County NY residents are very fortunate to have such a comprehensive mosquito control program. Prevention is the key to eliminating West Nile Virus, Malaria, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and St. Louis Encephalitis. The WCDOH lists all of these diseases in their report. We are pleased our County Health Department is providing surveillance and protection from mosquito-borne diseases with effective pesticides.
While the WCHOD is concerned with the spread of disease, you may want to consider your own mosquito control program. Mosquito bites spread disease. They also take much of the enjoyment of our time outdoors. Your family and pets spend most of their outdoor time in your backyard during summer months. A barrier spray around your yard makes sense there also.
Mosquitoes love areas with thick vegetation. Shady areas are where mosquitoes spend their day. Entertainment areas like outdoor kitchens, grills, seating areas, pools, etc. are also attractive areas for mosquitoes looking for a blood meal. By reducing bites, you reduce your exposure and likelihood of disease with a yard barrier spray.