CITY TO CONSIDER TAKING 311 MOSQUITO CALLS, BUT WILL THE ITCHING STOP?

Angry locals convened at Goddard-Riverside community center last week to demand action from the city about the mosquito madness that has plagued sections of the neighborhood for years.

A mosquito problem that began in the sewers below West 84th Street a couple of years ago has infested Upper West Side apartments in and around the area, forced some to sleep under mosquito netting, and even sent residents to the hospital with nasty welts. We broke the original story about the problem.

One man at the meeting (pictured above) held up a mosquito trap apparently filled with the nasty bugs, and others faulted city officials for dragging their heels.

But the meeting drew some action from the city — for one thing, the city will consider taking 311 calls about the problem after saying for months that the mosquitoes weren’t worth tracking because they apparently don’t carry West Nile Virus (a spokesman for State Assmblywoman Linda Rosenthal had initially said the city would take 311 calls, but it appears that they’re still “considering” that idea).

Rosenthal (in photo at right) will also “lead a task force of city agencies to better coordinate City’s response to the infestation,” her spokesman told us.

That said, residents told DNAinfo after the meeting that the changes weren’t enough,

“They are not effectively coordinating their response,” resident Christopher Cross told DNAinfo. “Nobody wants a situation where someone gets badly ill because of a problem that’s known by the city agencies.”

Just today, West Side Rag reader Howard Freeman told us his son woke up covered in mosquito bites.

Are you still getting bitten? Let us know!

Photos via Linda Rosenthal’s office.

NEWS | 7 comments | permalink
    1. Eve says:

      I didn’t realize this was such a huge problem for others. I live in the 80’s on Amsterdam and this past Friday night got bit by a mosquito on my face twice and one on my shoulder as I tried to sleep, I was lucky to catch it and smash is with a magazine before a fourth bite.

    2. Amy says:

      My husband lived on 83RDA street & Riverside
      Drive for 10 years until he moved 20 blocks north
      with me 8 years ago. When I showed him
      these stories about a localized infestation of
      these pests, he recalled often water collected
      in crevices at the rocky out cropping called
      Mount Tom. It’s at 82 or 83 in the park. Just
      a thought.

    3. suzanne says:

      I got three huge bites last night. It’s awful, especially for someone like me with an auto immune disease….who knows what they are carrying!

    4. James says:

      I live on 83rd between West End & Riverside and work up yesterday with 5 huge bites, including one on my forehead. I now cover myself with Skin-So-Soft bug repellent lotion every night (I bought the last tube at Essentials last night so I’m guessing I’m not the only one). Ugh.

      • Jay says:

        Yep! I woke up a number of times last night because of it. Not exactly sure what the city will be able to do about this, aside from be aware of the problem, but here’s to hoping for a summer in which we can sleep itch-free.

    5. Kate says:

      I am on the east side of 84th street (off 1st ave) and this mosquito problem is becoming a big problem here too. We’ve sealed up our apartment, worked with super to get any standing water outside the building taken care of, etc….but I have at least 10 huge bites right now. Husband killed two mosquitoes in our living room just last night. Something obviously needs to be done on a larger, city scale level!

    6. Frustrated says:

      I live in the Upper East side. My family and I are plagued by mosquitoes day and night. Landlord will do nothing, says “None in my apartment.” However, will not seal any large cracks in windows or elsewhere. What does it take to stop this????