UNION COUNTY — As record June rainfall and warm temperatures have created ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes in Union County this summer, the Board of Chosen Freeholders is reminding residents that they can take steps to help reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases.
“Union County residents can pitch in by making sure their property is free of any possible breeding sites,” said Freeholder Chairman Linda Carter. “It also helps to follow a few simple precautions when going outside, such as using an approved repellent.”
Mosquitoes carry a range of diseases including malaria, West Nile Virus, and dengue fever. They require only a small amount of stagnant water in which to breed, so residents are advised to check their outdoor equipment and garden ornaments, including flower pots, buckets, recycling containers, grills, wheelbarrows, and tarpaulins, to ensure that there is no place for water to collect.
Litter and debris should be removed, and unused pools, fountains, and ornamental ponds should be covered. Residents should also check for water collecting in children’s toys and playsets, and rain gutters should be cleaned regularly to ensure that water does not collect in blocked or sagging areas.
To avoid mosquito bites, residents are advised to use a repellent approved for use on skin and clothing, and to follow all instructions on the label carefully. Additional guidance on mosquito repellents is available from the Centers for Disease Control.
Another effective precaution is to wear long, light-colored clothing when outdoors in the early morning and early evening. Mosquitoes are most active at these times.
Breeding sites on public property are addressed through the Union County Bureau of Mosquito Control, which regularly inspects and tests for mosquitoes throughout the County and conducts spraying operations as needed.
Residents are encouraged to report mosquito infestations by calling the Union County Mosquito Hotline at 908-654-9834 during business hours. County inspectors will examine the property and provide guidance on eliminating breeding sites. If needed, the inspectors will also survey the surrounding area.
Partly due to its marshlands and network of waterways, Union County has a long history of organized mosquito control efforts and is recognized as a leader in the field. The county’s first Mosquito Control Commission was established 100 years ago and is the second oldest in the nation.
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