The genteel residents of the Upper West Side are being plagued by super-powered mosquitoes that hide under the cover over darkness—and the Health Department just doesn't care, they say.
“They’re hungry. They’re hungry,” one 84th Street resident told CBS, who sounds like she could actually be talking about zombies. West Side Rag, which broke the story, writes that one resident's daughter had so many mosquito bites that she developed a whole body allergic reaction and had to wear bandages for several months to cover the large welts. “All on the walls there are mosquitoes and blood,” one nine-year-old girl explained. Residents have taken to sleeping beneath mosquito netting and desperately trying to cover any possible crack, vent or drain in their home.
A team of Rutgers scientists called in to investigate the infestation, which is taking over most of West 84th Street between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive, identified the flying hell-creatures as culex pipiens molestus, known for their "voracious biting" habits. They live in the sewers and attack humans at night—apparently coming through basements and air vents. “The best way to address that is to close all connections to the sewer and do aggressive mosquito control in the sewers, but that’s a tall order in these old cities like New York,” a Rutgers professor told CBS.
UWS residents say their calls to the Health Department and Department of Transportation have gone unanswered. “It really is unacceptable for a city to ignore this kind of plague,” Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal said. Fortunately, the next plague on the list is pestilence, which shouldn't affect too many New Yorkers.