Mosquito Control and Surveillance
The Health Department and the Department of Public Works work together to help control the spread of mosquitoes through surveillance of mosquito breeding areas, preventing the development of adult mosquitoes, trapping adult mosquitoes, responding to complaints, treating infested areas and testing the trapped mosquitoes for presence of disease.
Nassau County Department of Health conducts mosquito surveillance activities at 43 trap sites throughout the County. Surveillance activities include:
- Collecting, identifying species, and sending to New York State Department of Health laboratory for viral testing
- Determining population distribution
- Thoroughly investigating all cases of suspect or confirmed West Nile virus, Zika virus, and other mosquito-borne diseases to determine the source of infection.
Nassau County Department of Public Works (DPW) is responsible for mosquito control, which includes the application of larvicides and adulticides. DPW monitors thousands of street basins, sumps, ponds, and hundreds of miles of freshwater streams. Breeding sites are inspected for the presence of larvae. Ditches are maintained on the County's south shore which allow fish to reach and consume mosquito eggs, larvae and pupae. DPW will continue aerial applications of larvicide in the non-populated areas on the south shore salt marshes to control populations of salt marsh mosquitoes. Nassau County Department of Public Works (DPW) responds to mosquito or stagnant water problems. To report a problem, please phone DPW's Mosquito Control Unit at (516) 571-6900.
Rabies & Animal Bites
Nassau County DOH investigates all reported animal bites. Nassau County Public Health law requires that pets be vaccinated against rabies. This includes, but is not limited to, dogs, cats, and ferrets.
Medical providers treating a person who has suffered an animal bite are required to report the incident to the Department. To report a bite incident, please use this electronic form or call 516-227-9663 during normal business hours or 516-742-6154 after business hours and on weekends.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Infected mammals can transmit rabies virus to humans and other mammals. Rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms appear. Fortunately, only a few human cases are reported each year in the United States.
How can you tell if an animal has rabies?
You can’t tell if an animal has rabies by just looking at it—the only way to know for sure if an animal (or a person) has rabies is to perform laboratory testing. However, animals with rabies may act strangely. Some may be aggressive and try to bite you or other animals, or they may drool more than normal. Some things to look for are:
- general sickness
- problems swallowing
- lots of drool or saliva
- an animal that bites at everything
- an animal that appears tamer than you would expect
- an animal that is staggering, having trouble moving or may even be paralyzed
- a bat that is on the ground
If you see an animal you believe to be rabid, contact a NYSDEC Approved Wildlife Trapper.
What if I see a raccoon during the day?
No need to panic – although raccoons are nocturnal animals, it is not unusual for a healthy raccoon to be active during the daytime. Be aware of signs of a rabid animal, found above.
Remember: Raccoons are often searching for food, water, and shelter on your property. Keep your garbage in insect-, rodent-, and water-proof trash receptacles. Pick up dog feces, as they are attractive to pests such as raccoons, rodents, and insects. Trim tree branches that could serve as an entry path to your home or shed. Keep in mind, raccoons may also be attracted to items in your yard such as bird feeders, food left out for wildlife (i.e., feral cats and squirrels), food-encrusted barbecues, and vegetable gardens.
What if my pet had an interaction with a raccoon?
If your pet was bitten or had an interaction with a raccoon, you should contact your veterinarian. It is important to keep your pets up to date on their vaccinations, including their rabies vaccine. If the raccoon is still on your property, you can call a NYSDEC Approved Wildlife Trapper. Lastly, notify NCDOH of the interaction. NCDOH may collect the raccoon after it was euthanized by the trapper and have it tested for rabies.
What should I do if I find a bat in my house?
If you are certain no people or pets have come in contact with the bat:
- Confine the bat to a room by closing all doors and windows leading out of the room except those to the outside. The bat will probably leave soon. If the bat doesn’t leave, contact a NYSDEC Approved Wildlife Trapper for assistance.
If there’s been contact between the bat and people or pets:
- If a bat is in your house and you have any question about whether the bat has been in contact with people or pets, you will want to have the bat captured and tested. Call NYSDEC Approved Wildlife Trapper for assistance. If professional assistance is not available, follow the steps to safely capture the bat and save it for testing. Notify NCDOH, who will collect the bat after it has died or was euthanized and have it tested for rabies.
Ticks can carry germs that can make you sick. Protect yourself, your family, and your pets from tick bites. To learn more, click here.