Downstate community to use new weapon in fight against West Nile

A suburban New York county is using tiny fish to do some of the work in fighting West Nile Virus.

The Westchester County Health Department is giving away fathead minnows for use in ornamental ponds. Mosquitoes that carry the virus like to breed in standing water, and the minnows like to eat mosquito larvae and pupae.

The fish are being given away Friday and Saturday at the county airport.

The health commissioner says the free-minnow program was a success last year. She called the program a natural strategy to curtail the mosquito population.

Next week, the county will be applying larvicide to catch basins.