June 22-28 is recognized as National Mosquito Control Awareness Week by the American Mosquito Control Association, for the purpose of educating the public about best ways to control mosquito populations in their communities and keep themselves safe against bites and mosquito-borne illness.
The following information is from the Middlesex County Mosquito Extermination Commission regarding the efforts made by the commission to curb mosquito growth in Middlesex County.
Standing water from recent rains produces ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed. The Middlesex County Mosquito Extermination Commission has been inspecting and treating sites throughout the County and is offering advice to residents to curb the pests in their yards.
Dr. Deepak Matadha, Superintendent of the Mosquito Extermination Commission, said many mosquito species come from large flood plains and swamps, which can best be controlled by NJDEP-licensed personnel employed by the Mosquito Commission.
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 Commission.
However, Dr. Matadha said, there may also be many small “mosquito 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 such as the Asian tiger mosquito, that are vicious biters.
The Asian tiger mosquito is currently the most important nuisance mosquito in the county. It is also one of the mosquitoes that is capable of transmitting new emerging diseases such as chikungunya and dengue fever, a concern to the Commission and health care professionals in the state.
Without standing or stagnant water, there will be no mosquito production in the area, since female 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 Asian tiger mosquito by making every possible effort to eliminate sources of standing water around your home or place of business,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “The more people involved in the effort, the more aggressively we can tackle this pest problem.”
Some of the things residents can do to make their yard safer and more pleasant this summer are:
- Eliminate or manage all sources of standing water to discourage mosquito breeding.
- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
- Cut down weeds, trim and maintain shrubs and grass to reduce adult mosquitoes harboring in vegetation.
- Stay inside at dawn, dusk and early evening when mosquitoes are most active.
- If you must be outdoors during these times, wear light colored, loose fitting clothing and when practical, wear long sleeves and pants.
- Apply insect repellents that are EPA approved and recommended such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, and Oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD). Always apply according to label instructions.
- Contact the Mosquito Commission (732) 549-0665 if there is a significant mosquito problem or need additional information.