Watch CBS News

Mosquitoes That Breed Year-Round Infuriate Residents On Upper West Side

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – When was the last time you suffered a mosquito bite? If your answer is recently, you likely live on a block of the Upper West Side where a year-round sewer species just won't die.

As CBS2's Dave Carlin reported, Department of Health workers are on a mosquito hunt on West 84th Street between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive.

If you assume cold weather always kills the mosquitoes, just take a look down into the city's sewers where a particularly hearty and vicious variety of pests breeds year-round.

"People are getting eaten up alive," UWS resident Beth Lipsit said.

Lipsit and her neighbors keep investing in electronic bug zappers, lotions, sprays and even netting to go over their beds.

Frustrated, desperate residents say they have to get creative coming up with ways to keep the mosquitoes away from them, including putting tape and mesh over exposed areas.

As Carlin reported, nothing seems to work and it's been more than four years for residents living alongside the pests.

"This is ridiculous! We know where they come from, they come from the sewer," Pauline Galiana said.

So far, test results from the block's mosquitoes have come back negative for West Nile Virus. And while that's mostly a good thing, Carlin said it also makes it a lower priority to invest in a permanent fix.

"They think there is a drainage problem. I think they need to dig this all up," Lipsit said.

However, as Carlin reported, that's an expensive job that pits multiple city agencies and private landowners against each other.

New York State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal says her office has arranged for workers with the Department of Environmental Protection to go deep underground with cameras to locate the problem once and for all. But for now, neighbors continue to sleep tight knowing the bugs will bite.

Experts from Rutgers University identified the type of mosquito on the UWS block as "culex pipiens molestus," which have longer lifespans than other mosquitoes, plus more painful bites.

You Might Also Be Interested In:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.