June 10, 2014 at 10:37 PM
With an unusually rainy spring coming to a close, conditions are ideal for mosquitos to breed, and Union County’s seasonal mosquito control efforts are under way. Residents can also take steps to help reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases.
“Union County residents can protect themselves when spending time outdoors this season by following simple guidelines, such as using an approved repellent,” said Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak. “You can also do your part in the prevention effort by eliminating breeding sites on your property.”
In the U.S., mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus and dengue fever. Travelers can also take precautions to avoid contracting mosquito-borne diseases that are prevalent in other countries, such as malaria.
Mosquitoes can breed in very small amounts of stagnant water, even an area as small as a bottle cap, so residents should check their property regularly for places where water can collect.
Litter and debris should be removed, especially discarded tires, which are known as favorable mosquito breeding spots.
Unused pools, fountains, and ornamental ponds should be covered. Residents should also check for water collecting in children’s outdoor toys and playsets. Rain gutters should be cleaned regularly to ensure that water does not collect in blocked or sagging areas.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for personal mosquito-borne disease prevention include applying repellent and reducing exposure by wearing long, light-colored clothing when outdoors.
Exposure can also be reduced by avoiding time outdoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitos are most active. More details are available at cdc.gov.
The Union County Bureau of Mosquito Control has over 100 years of experience and emphasizes an integrated management program. That includes conducting surveillance, reducing mosquito breeding sites, using pesticides and biological methods to control the mosquito population, and promoting community outreach and public education.
Between May and October, the Bureau regularly performs inspections and tests on public property throughout Union County, as well as conducting preventative spray operations.
The schedule of spray operations is determined on a weekly basis and can be checked by visiting ucnj.org/mosquito-control-spraying, or follow Union County on Facebook for updates. Residents are advised not to approach the spray trucks while they are in operation.
Residents can report mosquito infestations to the Union County Mosquito Hotline at 908-654-9834 during business hours. If necessary, inspectors will examine the property and provide guidance on eliminating breeding sites.