County Mosquito Extermination Commission Prepares For Season

MIDDLESEX COUNTY – Middlesex County Mosquito Extermination officials anticipate higher than normal populations of mosquitoes and an early activity of West Nile Virus (WNV) this summer.

In order to address these kinds of mosquito activities, the Middlesex County Mosquito Extermination Commission has begun inspecting and treating sites throughout the county.

Experts use a comprehensive and integrated approach, which includes: mosquito surveillance, water management, biological control, chemical control and public education.

“The commission works to not only minimize the overall number of mosquitoes, but more importantly to reduce the spread and threat of mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile Virus, that they may carry,” said Freeholder H. James Polos, chair of the county’s Public Safety and Health Committee and liaison to the Mosquito Extermination Committee.

The early mosquito season is the result of the unusual weather patterns experienced in New Jersey in 2011, officials said. It was the wettest and third warmest year in the State since 1895. It also was followed by a mild winter.

John Kranz, executive director of the Mosquito Extermination Commission, said many mosquitoes come from large flood plains and swamps, which can best be controlled by NJDEP-licensed personnel employed by the mosquito commission.

However, he said, there may also be many small “breeding sites” in and around homes or places of business that individuals can eliminate. These areas can produce the common house mosquito, which can transmit West Nile virus, and can produce other species of mosquitoes that are vicious biters.

Without standing or stagnant water, there will be no mosquito production in the area, since female house mosquitoes look for a place to lay eggs such as:

  • Standing or stagnant water in ditches and catch basins
  • Water from overflowing or open septic or other waste systems
  • Water that collects in buckets, cans, jars, barrels, boats, discarded tires, clogged roof gutters, tire ruts, wading pools or pool covers
  • Any artificially created collection of water

“We are asking our residents and business owners to help us in our mission to control the house mosquito by making every possible effort to eliminate sources of standing water around your home or place of business,” said Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano. “The more people involved in the effort, the more aggressively we can tackle this pest problem.”

Some of the things residents can do are:

  • Dispose of all containers that hold water. Store those you want to save by turning them upside-down, or punching holes in the bottom so water drains out.
  • Clean roof gutters and drainage ditches.
  • Stock ornamental ponds with fish.
  • Change water in birdbaths, fountains and pet dishes weekly.
  • Make sure septic, air conditioning and other water tanks are sealed with screened vents.
  • Empty wading pools when not in use and keep swimming pools clean and filtered.
  • Make sure that boats are covered or that water drains out of them completely. Store small boats upside-down.
  • Flush sump pumps weekly.
  • Maintain window and door screens to exclude mosquitoes from house or business.

If you have a mosquito problem, or if you need additional advice or information, call the Middlesex County Mosquito Extermination Commission at 1-732-549-0665.

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