Westchester County offers mosquito-eating minnows

May 9, 2013 3:30:34 PM PDT
Health workers in suburban New York are suggesting that before residents reach for the DEET or break out the citronella, they put little fish to work in the battle against mosquitoes.

The Westchester County Health Department is giving away fathead minnows on Friday and Saturday for use in ornamental ponds.

The department says the mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus like to breed in standing water. And the minnows like to eat mosquito larvae and pupae.

Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler says the fish have been effective in county parks. Now residents can use them to cut the mosquito population at home.

The department says the minnows should be used only where the water is at least 8 inches deep.

The county has 100 pounds of fathead minnows to distribute Friday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Residents who want the minnows should go to 2 Loop Road, Building One at the Westchester County Airport. The building is the first right from the airport access road.